Sen. Champagne Statement on Senate Passage of Bill Expanding Release of Prison Inmates  

May 12, 2021

Bill broadens ‘compassionate parole release’


Today Assistant Senate Republican Leader Dan Champagne (R-Vernon) issued the following statement following the Senate’s passage of S.B. 1058, which expands “compassionate parole inmate release.” Groups including the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence and the CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence testified against this bill.


“I believe in programs that result in helping someone, however, there are always those who will continue to commit crimes, many of which are violent offenders. This is a bill that significantly broadens the threshold for those eligible for release under the backdrop of a pandemic or disaster situation. It expands the limit from ‘physically incapable’ of posing a danger to the public to a ‘significantly reduced risk of presenting danger to society.’ This category is far too broad and those in jail for offenses like First-Degree Sexual Assault, Kidnapping, Manslaughter with a Firearm, Assault of the Elderly or Disabled, Robbery in the First Degree with a Firearm, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and other violent offenses can all be released under this measure,” said Senator Champagne.


“Those in prison are not simply there because they walked into it. Now, we’re looking to make it easier for violent offenders to get out of prison, and I’m not referring to those who are severely ill or in a dire medical situation. I have compassion but cannot support this bill because it is a serious threat to public safety. The parameters for release are ill-defined and do not give us control of who is released. If there is any chance that a violent offender can be released and victimize or re-victimize someone in our community then I have a serious problem with it.


“As a former police officer of over 20 years, I understand the impact that this bill would have on the thousands of victims of domestic violence, assault and other violent crimes. Their safety, and the safety of others in our community, outweighs the safety of the violent offenders incarcerated for crimes of their own commission,” he said.