Representative Jason Perillo (R-113) today tore into majority Democrats yesterday for a budget bill that eliminates mandatory jail time for chronic drunk drivers, a last-minute provision secretly inserted into the legislation and dumped on Republican lawmakers just hours before it came up for a vote. When asked in debate, Democratic Judiciary Chairman Gerald Fox indicated the most violent offenders would not be eligible for the “risk reduction earned credit,” being proposed, but today it appears as though that was inaccurate.
“Is this what we have come to?” asked Rep. Perillo. “We started off yesterday trying to save money by letting repeat drunk drivers avoid jail time and permitting all manner of criminals to get out of jail early. And now we find out that every felon including rapists, murderers, arsonists, and those who have sexually assaulted children will qualify for it as well. This is very different than what surfaced during the debate on the House floor.”
Provisions of the bill allow inmates in the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections to earn risk reduction credits toward a reduction in a person’s sentence or up to five days per month. The credits would be earned for adherence to the inmate’s offender accountability plan for good conduct and obedience to institutional rules.
Judiciary Chairman Fox and OPM Undersecretary Michael Lawlor confirmed today that the bill does allow for all felons aside from those on Death Row to qualify for the credits, contrary to what had been asserted on the preceding day. In addition, the ability to earn those credits would be retroactive until April 1, 2006.
Republicans offered an amendment yesterday that would prevent sex offenders from receiving the credits and earning an early release. It was defeated on a mostly party-line vote. The overall implementer bill passed on a party-line vote of 93-52.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly will adjourn at midnight, June 8, 2011.