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September 23, 2007

Bad apples may destroy parole in Connecticut

Any deserving potential parolees in Connecticut should be very grumpy that some parolee bad apples are threatening the entire system of parole in the Nutmeg State.  This New York Times piece provides the latest news on this on-going story:

Gov. M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut has suspended parole for all inmates serving time for violent offenses after the authorities said a parolee stole a car at knifepoint in Hartford and then drove to New York City, where he was shot by the police.  The move comes two months after a pair of parolees were arrested in the killing of a woman and her two daughters in a home invasion.

"Until we can find a better way to determine who poses a risk to the public if released, we will not add to the ranks of people on parole," Mrs. Rell said in a news release Friday evening.  In addition to suspending parole for violent offenders, she directed the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles to immediately review all parolees who were sentenced for violent crimes.  She said any in violation of their parole would be sent back to prison to serve the remainder of their sentences. Typically, inmates convicted of what are classified as violent offenses must serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before parole.

Robert Farr, chairman of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, said on Saturday he that agreed with the governor’s decision and that the board would start its review on Monday. He estimated that one-third of the approximately 3,000 inmates the board paroles each year are classified as violent offenders.

Representative Michael P. Lawlor of East Haven, the co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Judiciary, said in a news release on Friday that the General Assembly would work with the governor to make sure that the Corrections Department had the resources it needed to deal with what he described as a "dramatic increase in population over the next few months."  The state’s prison population is roughly 19,000 inmates.

The governor said the parole suspension would continue until "reforms of the parole process are complete." State lawmakers and other officials have been discussing parole overhaul and construction of new prisons since the home invasion and murders, in the town of Cheshire.

September 23, 2007 at 08:33 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Yep, it sure is awful. It seems to me that there might be problems with her "mandate" as well.

Posted by: Gideon | Sep 23, 2007 11:30:56 AM

It would be interesting to know what the Governor and parole board mean by violent offender. In my state (Iowa) burglary can be a crime against property or a crime against persons (violent) depending on the circumstances. A robbery (person crime) can be plea bargained down to a theft (property crime) so the crime they were convicted of may not be an indication of the true nature of the offender.

Posted by: JSN | Sep 23, 2007 12:43:36 PM

I thought by definition that parolees were bad apples...

Posted by: | Sep 23, 2007 3:37:07 PM

JSN: In CT, a violent offender is someone who has been convicted of a "violent felony". There's a list of about 20-25 felonies that are considered violent. In addition, the parole board is not limited to the elements of the offense, but can look to the underlying facts in determining whether the felony was violent. On top of that they look to an inmate's history (unofficially going back 10 years) and if an inmate has a violent felony in his past even if he is currently incarcerated for a non-violent felony, he will be deemed a violent offender. So that's a lot of people.

Posted by: Gideon | Sep 24, 2007 8:38:25 AM

Gideon..it is not for all violent offenders, this ban is only for inmates serving time right now for a violent offense.

Posted by: Annie | Sep 25, 2007 6:43:25 PM

Annie, I think that's unclear. On one hand you have those that are currently 85% and their parole status is being scrutinized and then you have "violent offense".

Many "violent offenders" are not currently in for a "violent offense". Which does Gov. Rell mean? I think that remains to be seen.

Posted by: Gideon | Sep 25, 2007 10:46:44 PM

I agree that something needs to be done, but My 5 year old son's father was supposed to be released Monday sept.24. He is not a violent person but yet they still have not released him. They have suspended parole for everybody not just for violent offenders. I find this unfair. I feel for those family's but why should others pay for their crimes. It's unethical and not right that everybody should be paying the price for these other people's crimes

Posted by: Nicole | Sep 27, 2007 1:05:18 PM

I pray that something is done very quickly. In my point of view not ALL violent offender's are violent. My Fiance have been currently an inmate for 16 months, To which he had to complete 18 to 20 months of his time. He completed all his classes in there as well as for good behavior which no one seems to care I understand that some people makes mistakes but I don't feel that all inmates should suffer for the action that 2 bad apples have done. Some people do change while being in there. Not only do this new law hurt the inmate but for the families that out on the other end waiting for there love one to return home.

Posted by: Torquita Diaz | Oct 8, 2007 11:43:19 PM

I THINK ITS IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT EACH VIOLENT OFFENDER INDIVIDUAL BEFORE JUMPING THE GUN. MANY OF THESE PEOPLE MAY HAVE ACTED LIKE ANIMALS NOT ALL OF THEM ARE WE MUST REMEMBER THAT. ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO'VE BEEN CHARGED WITH A VIOLENT CRIME AND WANT NOTHING MORE THEN TO STARIGHTEN THERE LIFE OUT.

Posted by: this world huh? | Nov 30, 2007 7:44:40 AM

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