As many as 1,200 Connecticut inmates serving time for nonviolent crimes will be considered for early release to make room for violent offenders ineligible for parole under new policies ordered by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, reports the Hartford Courant. “We will ensure that violent offenders who pose a risk to society stay behind bars while continuing to help nonviolent offenders make the most effective transition possible back to society,” Rell said.
The governor tightened the rules for parole Friday in response to the arrest of James Biggs, a career criminal paroled Aug. 30 for the third time in two years. He was released without the electronic monitoring that Rell had ordered for violent offenders after two parolees were charged in the slayings of three members of a Cheshire family in July. The increased use of electronic monitoring since the Cheshire slayings has caused a shortage of the equipment. Rell has no plans to transfer inmates out of state or to seek emergency steps to expand prison capacity.