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Early Release Programs
Thu September 20, 2012
Republican Lawmakers Call For Suspension Of Early Prison Release Program
Some Republican lawmakers are calling for the suspension of a state program that allows incarcerated inmates to earn credits towards early release from prison.
A law passed last year allows prisoners who behave well and agree to participate in rehabilitative programs to earn credits towards early release.
Two murders have taken place in the past few months in Connecticut, allegedly by offenders who’d earned early release credits.
At a GOP hearing on Tuesday, House Republican Leader Larry Cafero said he does not object to the Risk Reduction Earned Credits program for non-violent criminals, but when violent criminals participate, it raises questions about public safety.
"It gave pause to all of us and we were very concerned as to how this program was being administered, because we learned that over 7500 inmates were recipients of this early release time."
Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz said victims feel betrayed.
"There was a sentence that was imposed. It was a definite sentence. There was an 85% parole marker that someone might become eligible, but they all proceeded to believe that the sentence was actually what that individual would serve."
Overall, crime is down in Connecticut and officials say you can’t blame the recent violence on the program. They say prisoners are being released responsibly and the goal is to keep the most dangerous criminals behind bars, while improving supervision in the community for less violent offenders.