Thursday, August 08, 2013

Suzio to Gov. Malloy : Stop Prematurely Releasing Violent Criminals before Another Tragedy

Len Suzio calling for suspension of 
early release for violent offenders

The following is a letter sent to the Middletown Insider by former State Sen. Len Suzio. Representatives for Middletown  Rep. Matt Lesser (D), and Representative Joe Serra (D), voted in favor of an extension of the state's early release program to include the early release of violent criminals and sex offenders who earn credits for good behavior. Recently, Lesser voted in favor of House Bill 6581*  which allows murders, rapists, kidnappers and other violent criminals convicted before the age of 18 to be released after only having served 60% of their sentences.The latter representatives voted in favor. The bill will go on to the state senate it will become law. Rep. Paul Doyle (D) was the only Middletown representative to not vote against the measure.

Editor's note 8/14/2013: Senator Dante Bartolomeo, representing Middletown, spoke against the repeal of the Risk reduction program and spoke against Bill 123 which would repeal the program to allow the early release of violent felons based on good behavior credits. Bartolomeo called for amendments, but went on record at the senate hearings saying repeal of the program "goes to far."SB 1062, based on parts of  Bill 6581, was tabled on May 30th and could  be brought back for a vote in the next session.

The Senate GOP has been fighting aspects of this law since the Risk Reduction Program it took effect under Gov. Malloy in 2011. Currently, prisoners who have committed rape, strangulation, arson, assault on a pregnant woman, disabled person, or elderly individual, kidnapping, molestation, statutory rape or a variety of other crimes not classified by the state as "violent" can earn credits for good behavior and be released early. Those convicted on drug charges, DUI's, or types of theft or robbery cannot because those convictions carry mandatory  sentences by state statute. Some of the above crimes, including DUI,  cannot be released to half way homes, home incarceration or rehabilitation services outside of prisons because of those mandatory sentences.  
Middletown Rep. Joe Serra voted for continued early release of some violent criminals











Middletown Reps. Lesser & Bartolomeo supported the continued early release of some violent criminals




Gov. Malloy and Rep. Michael Lawlor (D) have praised the "Risk Reduction Program" that release violent criminals early as a cost savings to the state. Recently, despite the program being in place since 2011, Forbes magazine published a piece by contributor Jim Powell on August 1, 2013 asking: How did Rich Connecticut Morph into one of the Worse Economies in History? 
Click to enlarge the DOC memo
  Suzio was recently interviewed by WTNH regarding a memo by the Department of Corrections seeking to alleviate prison over crowding and save money by releasing more prisoners early. Suzio wants to make sure none of those scheduled for release committed violent crimes.
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In light of the new scandalous revelation by a whistle blower at the Department of Corrections I am calling on the governor to halt this dangerous policy of the premature release of violent criminals without the treatment or rehabilitation ordered by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. We cannot wait for another innocent victim to be sexually assaulted or murdered before acting.
The Early Release Program already has been implicated with murder, rape and mayhem and now we have another scandalous revelation that the DOC has a plan to ignore the directives of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, releasing violent criminals without necessary treatment. These allegations, if true, reveal a DOC plan that will exacerbate an already dangerous program.

The number one priority of government must be public safety, but the Malloy Administration is hell bent on spending money on everything but public safety! It seems the Administration had not learned from the terrible murders in Cheshire - the criminals convicted of those horrific murders were released from prison without proper rehabilitation. Now it seems that the Malloy Administration is destined to repeat the same mistakes and recklessly jeopardize the safety of innocent civilians. I say to the Malloy Administration, "stop the spending on boondoggles like the bus way and put the money where it belongs - protecting the public from violent criminals".

Len Suzio
Member: State Office of Victim Advocate Advisory Board 

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