Sen. Boucher: Connecticut Early Release

June 6, 2011

Hartford, CT – Rapists and sexual predators, child pornographers and pedophiles, and a variety of violent, vicious criminals in Connecticut will soon be eligible for early release from prison.

“This early release policy makes Connecticut soft-on-crime and I believe we will be endangering the public further,” said Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton).

These violent inmates will be able to reduce their sentences by as many as five days per month for “good behavior.” Felons sentenced to two years in prison could get out of jail in 90 days.

If the safety of our neighborhoods is further compromised by weakening public policy, we are failing those who have placed their trust in us

State Senator Toni Boucher

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 (with intent to cause serious injury)
  • Sexual assault in the first degree (sex with someone under the age of 13)
  • Kidnapping in the first degree (intent to inflict physical injury)
  • Arson in the first degree (intent to destroy an inhabited building)
  • 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 (knowingly gives someone a firearm – who is barred from owning a firearm )
  • Cruelty to animals (possess an animal for fighting, intentionally kills a police dog)

HB 6650, An Act Implementing the Provisions of the Budget Concerning the Judicial Branch, Child Protection, Criminal Justice, Weigh Stations and Certain State Agency Consolidations.

Under the alternative sentencing plan set out in section 21 of the bill, a person who pleads guilty and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment 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. Some of the consequences include allowing early release for convicts like:

  • A 40 year old Norwalk man, in 2010, was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor repeatedly when she was between the ages of 6 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.
  • In 2005, a former DMV clerk in Norwalk, who turned the office into his own personal forgery studio – selling falsified licenses for cash was convicted of under Connecticut racketeering laws to a 2 year sentence. Under this bill he would need to only serve 90 days before release.
  • A 20 year old Seymour man in 2005 was angry with his friend who he was staying with because the friend would not let him have one of his six puppies as a pet.   “If I can’t have them,” he said, “no one can.”  He proceeded to “send the puppies to heaven” by slashing the throats of all six.  Convicted of six counts of cruelty to animals, he was sentenced to two years in jail. Under this bill, he could be released after just 90 days.
  • An East Haddam mother was convicted of risk of injury in March.  She used crack cocaine in the presence of her young daughter, repeatedly left the drugs and paraphernalia in the open, took her daughter along in the car when she went to buy crack, forcing the child to hide under a blanket in the back seat.  Worst of all, she allowed an older male friend to touch the girl in a sexual manner.  For this she was sentenced to 2 years in jail. Under this bill she could be released after only 90 days.
  • In 2009, an Ohio man was convicted in Connecticut on charges that he used the internet to contact what he thought was a 14 year old Naugatuck girl for sex.  Later, police found scores of images of child pornography on his computer.  Sentenced to 2 years in jail, under this bill he would only have to serve 90 days.

“The state of Connecticut is undergoing an unprecedented change in its judicial policy,” remarked Senator Boucher. “Promoting this bill and other bills that would decriminalize marijuana and give accelerated rehabilitation for many serious crimes places the public at risk and reduces their sense of security and damages their quality of life.”

It is Senator Boucher’s belief that government’s main responsibilities are:

  • Public Safety;
  • Education; and
  • Acting as a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.

Senator Boucher believes these bills compromise our number one responsibility, the safety of our public. Adding, “If the safety of our neighborhoods is further compromised by weakening public policy, we are failing those who have placed their trust in us.”