Sen. Markley: We risk another tragedy every day the Risk Reduction Earned Credit Program remains in place

September 19, 2012

Hartford, CT – On Tuesday September 18, the Judiciary Committee held an informational hearing on the Risk Reduction Earned Credit Program (RREC) at the state legislative office building in Hartford. At the hearing, the State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz presented a compelling case as to why this program should be suspended.

Cruz revealed 7,589 inmates have been released under the RREC program since it began in October of 2011. In the first month of the program Cruz reports 33.9% of inmates were re-arrested for committing crimes.

“When the RREC was passed into law, almost all victims’ families told my office they felt betrayed by this policy. They’ve lost faith in the system,” said Cruz.

“After witnessing today’s testimony from the state victim advocate, it is clear that members of the Judiciary Committee are just as frustrated as I am by the failure of this administration to take this public safety issue seriously,” said Sen. Markley.

This RREC program allows violent felons–including those convicted of rape, murder and kidnapping–to get weeks, months, and even years taken off their court-ordered prison sentences. The credits can be awarded retroactively to 2006.

On June 27, a 70-year-old Meriden small business owner was shot and killed at his Meriden convenience store. The criminal arrested for that murder earned 199 days of risk reduction credits while serving time for a robbery conviction.

“It’s not a matter of politics but public safety. Clearly this program doesn’t work, and we risk another tragedy every day it remains in place,” said Sen. Markley. “Governor Malloy should do the right thing and suspend the early release program immediately.”