Sen. Kissel’s Priority: Public Safety

September 11, 2014

Sen. John A. Kissel (at podium) speaks to reporters at a Sep. 10 press conference at the Legislative Office Building to reveal serious flaws in the state’s early prison release system. (Attached photo, from left to right: Sen. Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield, Sen. Dep. Minority Leader Len Fasano or North Haven, Sen. Scott Frantz of Greenwich, Sen. Kissel, and Sen. Tony Guglielmo of Stafford Springs.)

Sen. Kissel and his fellow lawmakers cited the case of Arthur Hapgood, who allegedly fatally stabbed a baby in Bristol on August 18. Hapgood had been released from prison early as a result of “good time” he earned through the state’s Risk Reduction Earned Credit program. The credits were earned even though Hapgood had failed three drug tests in prison and helped two inmates escape from custody from a halfway house four months earlier.

“In my senate district, I represent six correctional facilities,” Sen. Kissel said. “I have toured those facilities and spoken at length with corrections staff. In order for the corrections system to run effectively, there must be order, respect, and accountability. Rules are rules. They must be followed if we are to keep our corrections officers safe on the inside and the public safe on the outside. I stood in strong opposition to the legislation which has enabled violent inmates to leave prison early. Now, tragically, an infant has been murdered. I will work with all legislators to repeal this law and make our streets and prisons safer. This must be our priority if we want to prevent future terrible tragedies.”