Judiciary Committee Votes “Yes” on Correctional Safety Bills

March 27, 2009

Committee unanimously approves two bills recommended by Correctional Staff Safety Taskforce
Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) announced today that HB 6684, An Act Establishing A Correctional Staff Health and Safety Subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission and HB 6685, An Act Concerning the Reporting of Inmate Population Density and Correctional Facility Specific Data were unanimously voted out of the Judiciary Committee this afternoon. Following the meeting, Sen. Kissel said “The violence that took place at Northern last week only highlighted the need for us to take a more proactive approach in dealing with the health and safety of our COs and inmates. The recommendations contained in these two bills give us many of the additional tools we need to address prison safety concerns”.

If passed into law, HB 6685 would create a subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission to review the policies and procedures of the Department of Corrections with respect to staff health and safety and HB 6685 would strengthen the current DOC inmate population reporting system. Both pieces of legislation were recommendations of the Prison Population and Correctional Staff Safety Taskforce, chaired by Rep. Karen Jarmoc and made up of Sen. Kissel, Correction Officers, Todd Sokolowski, Kevin Brace, Bret Owen, Moe Padilla, Rep. Kathy Tallarita, Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, Sen. Tony Guglielmo, Sen. Andrea Stillman and DOC District Administrator, Wayne Choinski.

“Rep. Jarmoc in particular and everyone on the taskforce as a whole did a great job bringing these recommendations together and I am happy that the Judiciary Committee has recognized the importance of this legislation and unanimously voted it out of committee,” said Sen. Kissel. “It’s particularly important to note, that many of the members of this task force were COs who work on the front lines every day and their voices in this process have been invaluable”.