“Why wasn’t he behind bars?”

February 5, 2018

Suzio 2018-02-05 Early Release Press Conference (3 of 10)



 Citing a recent incident in which a Hamden police officer was allegedly shot at by a convicted violent felon who had been released early from prison, Sen. Len Suzio (R-Meriden) today announced that he is re-introducing legislation making anyone convicted of a serious assault offense or forcible rape ineligible to earn risk reduction earned credits in prison.  (Watch the press conference:  http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=14946)
The RREC program in its current form allows those who are convicted of these crimes to earn early release credits while in prison – up to five days can be taken off their sentences each month.

“This program desperately needs reform,” Sen Suzio said.  “We have an opportunity this year to make it more effective at reducing recidivism. This legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the State Senate last year, but did not receive a vote in the House. I will work tirelessly to get the bill passed by both chambers this year and get it sent to the governor for his signature.  We can send a clear message that as a legislature, we are committed to keeping Connecticut residents safe from violent offenders.”

Citing the Jan. 24 officer involved shooting in Hamden, Sen. Suzio said, “It was nothing short of a miracle that the Hamden Police Officer was able to walk away unhurt.  While in prison, the alleged shooter, Kiwaun Cole, received Risk Reduction Earned Credits in 67 of the 72 months he was eligible to receive the credits. This resulted in his discharge on November 29, 2017 rather than his sentence date of May 11, 2020.  He never should have been on the streets in the first place.”

Sen. Suzio noted that this issue hits close to home for him.  In 2012, he saw firsthand the suffering of the family of Ibrahim Ghazal just blocks away from where he lives following a violent murder at the hands of Frankie “The Razor” Resto, who was released early from prison.

Sen. Suzio’s bill would make those convicted of the following crimes ineligible for risk reduction earned credits:

  • First degree sex assault of forcible rape, sex with a victim under age 13 or a mentally incapacitated person or gang rape
  • First degree assault using a deadly weapon with intent to cause serious injury, disfiguration or amputation, or risks death to another through extreme indifference to human life
  • First degree assault of elderly, blind or disabled
  • First degree assault of a pregnant woman resulting in the loss of a baby


“Risk Reduction” Statistics:

During the first 6 years and 4 months (76 months) since the inception of the “risk reduction” earned credits program, the following statistics apply based on DOC data obtained by a FOIA request:

  • 69,912 discharges from Connecticut prisons
  • 51,741 individual inmates were in the discharge records
  • 48,162 discharges involved inmates who had received Risk Reduction Earned Credits
  • 39,176 individual inmates were in the discharged prison population that were released with “RREC’s”
  • The first year  (Sept 1, 2011 – August 31, 2012) cohort of discharged prisoners who had received RREC’s consisted of 8,727 prison inmates
  • Of the first year group of  8,727 discharges with risk reduction credits, there were 8,351 “readmissions” to prison for various crimes – 95.69%
  • Of the group of prisoners discharged early from prison with risk reduction credits during the 72 months since inception the following serious crimes were committed resulting in “readmission” to Connecticut prisons once again
    • 119 murders
    • 154 rapes
    • 24 acts of arson
    • 1,916 assaults
    • 1,988 acts of burglary or robbery
    • 63 kidnappings
    • 1,542 drug related crimes
  • The murders amount to more than 1 every 3 weeks, and the rapes amount to almost a rape every other week.