Early Release Policy Comes Home to Roost

March 23, 2012

Here in Connecticut, our safety was put in jeopardy when a new early release prison policy went into effect. I have been outspoken about this very bad policy before and voted against it in the Senate. My position hasn’t changed, these felons forfeited their rights. We have to be careful when we are talking about early release for some of these people. Let’s be honest some are not able to rehabilitated.

Under the new law – championed by the majority party and universally opposed by Republicans – Connecticut inmates can earn up to five days per month off their sentences through “risk reduction earned credits.”

And the time off is granted retroactively to 2006. That means inmates are eligible to shave up to 330 days — nearly one year — off their sentences.

And all they have to do to get these “good time” credits is follow prison rules.
Non-violent inmates are not the only ones who qualify for the governor’s get out of jail early policy. This affects the release of violent criminals.

In Norwich, we recently saw a real-life example of what this bad public policy will do to public safety in Connecticut.

A murderer who accepted a plea deal in 2006 that earned him eight years in prison is about to be released from prison early. Thanks to the new law that allows prisoners to earn credits retroactively, the murderer earned 300 days of credit by participating in domestic violence and anger management classes.

The victim’s sister calls this “a real slap in the face. Unless you’re directly affected, I don’t think people are aware of this. I think it’s really backwards. It just really doesn’t make sense.”

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

  • Manslaughter in the first degree
  • Sexual assault in the first degree
  • Kidnapping in the first degree
  • Burglary in the first degree
  • Arson in the first degree
  • Employing a minor in an obscene performance
  • Importing child pornography
  • Cruelty to Animals

I will continue to fight against these soft-on-crime policies at the State Capitol, but I want to hear from you. The Governor needs to hear from you as well. This policy isn’t keeping our families safe. It is rewarding violent and reckless people who should be serving the time they were sentenced to by the courts.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Toll-Free 1-800-406-1527
Local: 860-566-4840

Senator Tony Guglielmo
Toll-Free: 1-800-842-1421 (CT only)
Local: 860-240-8800 (out of state)