Senator Kissel to Attend National Conference on Sentencing Reform

October 31, 2007

State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, has been chosen to participate in a multi-state conference to discuss different approaches to sentencing reform. The three-day meeting sponsored and paid for by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project and the Vera Institute of Justice will feature presentations from a variety of the nation’s top experts on sentencing.

The conference, to be held on Nov. 4-6 in Denver, comes at a time when the Connecticut legislature is actively seeking to reform the state’s sentencing and corrections policy. According to Sen. Kissel, who serves as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee and is a member of the Connecticut Sentencing Task Force, the opportunity to deliberate these issues with national experts and officials from other states would provide information on an array of strategies and concepts that would be beneficial to the ongoing reform debate in Connecticut.

“One of the biggest challenges we face here in Connecticut is the reform of our sentencing system. I am honored to be chosen to participate in this conference and look forward to hearing from the experts and representatives of other states to see how they are handling this issue,” said Sen. Kissel. “The more information we can gather, the better. This meeting comes at a time when we are vigorously moving towards comprehensive reform.”

According to Sen. Kissel, presentations from top sentencing experts will include:

• National sentencing policy trends and legal developments;
• Approaches to structured sentencing;
• Using risk assessment to inform sentencing decisions; and
• Strategies to promote diversion and public safety.

In addition, these experts and knowledgeable facilitators will be teamed with each state delegation to engage in a discussion of the state’s specific needs and planning of reform measures that can be taken.