Why Are We Opening Up the Prison Gates?

May 31, 2011

This past week in the State Senate, we held an eight-hour debate about whether violent criminals should be allowed to become eligible for early release from prison if they obey prison rules.

Yes, you read that correctly.  We are letting violent criminals out of jail early.

My fellow Republicans and I staunchly opposed this reckless measure.  We all voted against it, but once again, we were outnumbered by Democrats. 

This policy proposal from Governor Malloy will apply to some of our most notorious felons.  A couple of examples:

  • Remember the Seymour man in 2005 who slashed the throats of six puppies? Convicted of six counts of cruelty to animals, he was sentenced to two years in jail. Under Governor Malloy’s proposal, he could be released after just 90 days.
  • Remember the man who stabbed and killed UConn football player Jasper Howard? He was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading no contest to first degree manslaughter. Under Governor Malloy’s proposal, he could be released three years early.

The following is a list of just some of the crimes which would be subject to early release for good behavior:

  • 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
  • Contaminating a public water supply or food supply for terrorist purposes
  • Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children
  • Abandonment of child under the age of six years
  • Firearms trafficking
  • Cruelty to animals

Why is Governor Malloy doing this?  He says it will save money.

Will this jeopardize public safety?  Governor Malloy says it won’t.

I wonder what he would say to the families of the victims of violent crimes. 

Could he look them in the eye and tell them that the individual who hurt them so deeply should not have to do the full prison sentence?

My number one responsibility as an elected official is to you.  That means I must do all I can to protect and preserve public safety, no matter what the cost.  I could not support releasing convicted dangerous prisoners out of jail early.  Frankly, I cannot understand why democrats voted for this.

But they did. And this policy will soon be the law of the land.

Ask them why they did it. 

  • House Democrats 860 240-8500
  • Senate Democrats 860 240-8600
  • Governor Malloy 800 406-1527

As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions at [email protected] .