Shortsighted Proposal Will Allow Violent Criminals to Get Out of Prison Early

May 31, 2011

Rapists and sexual predators. Kidnappers, arsonists and pedophiles. Violent and vicious criminals.

Some very dangerous individuals are locked up in Connecticut’s prisons.

Governor Malloy and legislative democrats want these prisoners to be eligible for early release from prison.

It is hard to believe, but it is true.

Why would they want to enact such a policy?

In large part, to save money.

The shortsightedness of this misguided sentencing policy move is shocking.

This proposal amounts to a mass jail break in our state – one of the largest releases of inmates in decades in the state of Connecticut – and it makes no sense at all.

Here’s how it would work:

Prison inmates could reduce their sentences by as many as five days a month by participation in self-improvement programs. Early release would be granted for “good conduct” and for “obeying institutional rules”.

A person who pleads guilty and is sentenced to a prison term of two years or less would now qualify for an alternative incarceration plan developed by their probation officer and move to have the sentence “modified” after the person serves 90 days.

For example: A 40 year old Norwalk man, in 2010, was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor repeatedly when she was between the ages of six and 12.  Sentenced to two years for risk of injury to a minor, under this bill he would be eligible for release after just 90 days. 

The following is a list of just some of the crimes which would be subject to early release for good behavior and following one’s incarceration plan:

  • Manslaughter in the first degree
  • Sexual assault in the first degree
  • Kidnapping in the first degree
  • Arson in the first degree
  • Employing a minor in an obscene performance
  • Importing child pornography
  • Possessing child pornography in the first degree
  • Contaminating a public water supply or food supply for terrorist purposes.
  • Abandonment of child under the age of six years.
  • Firearms trafficking
  • Cruelty to animals

Letting violent criminals out of jail early sends a terrible message. Connecticut is spiraling in the wrong direction.

It is important to make sure dangerous criminals remain in prison. Inmates should not be released to achieve cost savings obtained by shutting down wings of prisons.

I want you to know that I will never put public safety on the back burner in order to save money.
As always, I you to contact me with any questions, comments and ideas at [email protected] .

**Sen. Kissel represents 7th Senate District towns including East Granby, Enfield, Somers, Suffield, Windsor Locks and portions of Granby and Windsor.