Policy | Crime & The Rule of Law in CT in 2023: A Report by Senator Rob Sampson

September 26, 2023

Since 2010, elected legislative Democrats and Democrat Governors Malloy and Lamont have advanced a series of progressive policies focused on diminishing criminal prosecution and accountability in our state. Many of these policies also have the effect of undermining law enforcement at all levels.


The impact is being felt across Connecticut. Car thefts and juvenile crime are at record levels. The lack of prosecution has emboldened criminals and I fear more violent crimes will become more commonplace as well.


I strongly opposed each of the following measures:


During the Malloy years:


  • 2011 PA 11-51 Re-instituted “Risk Reduction” credits for criminals sentenced after Oct. 1, 1994; up to two months reduction per year on prison sentence. Violent felons were released from prison with disastrous consequences, including multiple homicides at the hands of criminals who should have still been incarcerated. Tally: House: 90-56; Senate: 21-14. Unanimous GOP opposition, numerous GOP amendments defeated on party lines.


  • 2012 PA 12-1 Expanded traffic stop data to include demographics such as race & gender. Made it more difficult for prosecutors to have juveniles’ cases transferred to adult court, limiting the prosecution of repeat offenders. Tally: House: 88-53; Senate: 22-12. Unanimous Senate GOP opposition.


  • 2012 PA 12-5 Repealed CT Death Penalty. Bill was passed by misrepresenting its prospective nature, ultimately allowing the heinous Cheshire home invasion murderers to escape the death penalty. Tally: House: 86-62; Senate: 20-16. Unanimous Senate GOP opposition.


  • 2015 PA 15-2 “Second Chance Society” that reconstructed the Board of Pardons & Paroles and allows it to grant parole without a hearing, allows for an expedited pardon process without a hearing unless a victim requests one, and eliminates mandatory minimums for certain drug possessions. Tally: House: 98-46; Senate: 23-13.


  • 2015 PA 15-183 Eliminated automatic transfer of juveniles aged 14 to 17 charged with certain felonies, raised the age for transfer for serious felonies—limiting prosecutions for repeat offenders; compromises law enforcement’s safety by limiting use of restraints for juvenile court proceedings and by court order. Tally: House: 143-1; Senate: Consent Calendar. Sen. Sampson was the only “no” vote in either chamber.


  • 2018 PA 18-31 Created community-based diversion system & school-based system for juveniles, capped length of juvenile probation to 30 months, and eliminated CT Juvenile Training School. Tally: House: 125-23; Senate: Unanimous.


And more recently under Gov. Ned Lamont:


  • 2019 PA 19-20 “An Act Concerning the Trust Act”. This law effectively made Connecticut a “Super Sanctuary State” by prohibiting any cooperation between law enforcement in our state and federal immigration authorities – including for criminals who are convicted felons, known gang members, on the terrorist watch-list, or subject to a final deportation order. Tally: House: 79-61; Senate: 20-15. Numerous Sen. Sampson amendments failed in the Senate.


  • 2020 PA 20-1 “Police Accountability” bill. Requires “implicit bias” training for all officers; allows towns to establish unelected Civilian Review Boards; eliminates consent motor vehicle searches; places limits on justified use of deadly physical force by officers; limits chokeholds or similar restraints; creates officers’ duty to intervene and report; eliminates qualified immunity for officers, making them potentially personally liable for their duties on the job. Tally: House: 86-58; Senate: 21-15.


  • 2021 PA 21-32 “Clean Slate” law. Reduces the maximum prison sentence for misdemeanors from one year to 364 days to shield criminal illegal aliens from deportation. Significant, even violent crimes can be erased after 10 years with no convictions; most misdemeanors erased after seven years with no subsequent convictions. Tally: House: 91-56; Senate 23-12. Unanimous GOP opposition. Numerous Sen. Sampson amendments failed in Senate along party lines.


  • 2021 PA 21-102 Reduces the area of drug-free zones around schools, which require enhanced penalties for drug dealers. Tally: House: Unanimous; Senate: 32-3.


  • 2022 PA 22-18 “PROTECT Act”. Limits certain punishments including isolated confinement in CT prisons—critical tools for Corrections Officers to maintain order in prisons; prohibits Dept. of Corrections from imposing lockdowns for more than 24 hours in a 30-day period for training; limits ability of Correction Officers to use physical force, restraints, or nonlethal alternatives such as pepper spray. Tally: House: 98-45; Senate: 29-6.


As a point of contrast, here is a list of just some of the bills that I have offered over the last decade to rebuild the rule of law, stop the crime wave, and restore respect for law enforcement.


Leaders within the Democrat majority at our State Capitol continue to push their policies, some even denying that crime is rising despite what we all see with our own eyes. I continue to advocate for a repeal of these bad ideas and new policy to improve law and order in our state.


Each of the bill proposals below were blocked by Democrat majority committee chairs, who control what bills advance through the legislature:


  • 2017 HB 5272/5555; 2019 SB 993; 2021 SB 512 & 2023 SB 778: Eliminate “Sanctuary Cities”. Ensures that local and state government respect and follow federal immigration law.


  • 2017 HB 6193; 2019 SB 503/169; 2021 SB 362 & 2022 SB 388/780: Establish “Castle Doctrine” and “Stand Your Ground Laws” in Connecticut to respect the right of citizens to defend themselves in the instance of a home invasion, robbery, carjacking, violent assault, etc.


  • 2019 SB 494; 2021 SB 322 & 2023 SB 819: Restore the Death Penalty in Connecticut as a proper penalty for the most heinous of murders, and an appropriate deterrent for those who would commit such crimes.


  • 2019 SB 495/170: Eliminate the “Risk Reduction” Credit Program. Eliminates the sham program that awarded “good time” credits to violent felons, who in some cases were released early and went on to commit violent crimes.


  • 2021 SB 532 & 2023 SB 783: Lower the jurisdiction of juvenile courts from age 18 to 16 so that legal adults charged with serious and violent crimes are properly adjudicated in adult courts.


  • 2021 SB 515 & 2023 SB 781: Eliminate “Risk Reduction” credits for criminals convicted of a sex crime or crime with a firearm—Sen. Sampson’s attempt to remove some of the most dangerous offenders from program eligibility.


  • 2021 SB 517 & 2023 SB 782: Automatic transfer of juveniles charged with larceny involving motor vehicle to adult court if the juvenile has two prior felonies.


  • 2023 SB 779: Repeal “Clean Slate” law because criminal records should not simply disappear and citizens, employers, and landlords have a right to know.


  • 2023 SB 827: Repeal certain provisions of the “Police Accountability” bill. Repeals the restrictions on law enforcement necessary to keep law and order and protect officers and municipalities from frivolous lawsuits.


  • 2023 SB 843: Bail Reform. Allows courts the ability to deny bail for criminals who pose a great danger to society or risk of flight.


The purpose of this report is accountability in government. The record is clear. Politics exist for the purpose of comparing policy ideas and results, so that the people may make prudent choices regarding their representation.


Respectfully submitted,






Senator Rob Sampson

Deputy Republican Leader

Ranking Member: Government Admin. & Elections, Housing, Labor | Member: Judiciary