GOP Senators Slam State for Handling of Alleged Baby Killer’s Release, Demand Reform

September 10, 2014

Senators question state’s early release prison program at a press conference in Hartford.

Hartford, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) Ranking Member of the Public Safety Committee joined Senators Len Fasano, Scott Frantz and John Kissel and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney in demanding the State’s Early Release Program be suspended immediately after the brutal death of a one year old baby girl from Connecticut.

“I have had reservations about this program since it was first brought up for debate. I voted against it on the floor of the senate. It is rewarding violent and reckless people who should be serving the time they were sentenced too,” said Sen. Guglielmo.

The convicted felon in question, Arthur Hapgood has been charged with allegedly slashing to
death his infant niece while he was high on drugs. Remarkably, Hapgood earned credits while enrolled in the state’s Risk Reduction Earned Credit program despite failing three drug tests while in prison. Even worse he helped two inmates escape from custody during an earlier stint at a halfway house in May of 2013.

“We have a public safety crisis on our hands,” said Senator Len Fasano, Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore. “When violent criminals who reoffend in prison are free to get out early, when inmates who fail drug tests still somehow successfully pass rehabilitation programs, it is time to fix the dangerous flaws in our Corrections system.”

Hapgood, who was arraigned this week on murder charges, was previously serving a 71-month sentence for a 2008 robbery. While in prison, Hapgood accumulated the early release credits by taking part in educational classes, holding a job, and participating in the Offender Accountability Plan. According to Department of Correction officials – the prisoner also successfully completed an intensive outpatient addiction services program for which he earned credits.

“In what world can a person fail not one, but several drug tests and be considered “clean,” asked Sen. Guglielmo. “These felons forfeited their rights. We have to be careful when we are talking about early release for people who may not be capable of rehabilitation.”

“This whole situation makes a complete mockery of the criminal justice system. The officials who turned a blind eye to his repeated drug use and escalating criminal behavior should be held accountable,” said Sen. McKinney.

The senators suggest having wardens sign off on credits earned and for more oversight when a convict is released into the community.