Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s suspension of paroles for violent offenders has delayed the release of as few as 15 inmates, says the Hartford Courant. Weeks before Rell’s order in September, nearly all paroles already were frozen by new standards adopted after the arrest of two parolees in last summer’s home invasion in Cheshire. The new standards require a review of an offender’s sentencing transcript, pre-sentence investigation, and other records before any inmate is paroled. Robert Farr, parole board chairman, said the release of at least 300 nonviolent offenders has been delayed while their records are obtained and reviewed.
Rell said she is prepared to lift her suspension of paroles for violent offenders in the next two weeks, after Farr delivers a status report. Dr. William A. Petit Jr., whose wife and two daughters were killed in the Cheshire home invasion this week urged reforms of the parole system, which he called “a total failure.” He asked for action on at least three issues: a new persistent felon law, reclassifying residential burglaries as a violent crime, and a general call for “revising our parole system.” Rell agreed, and said she backs Farr’s call for a full-time parole board, augmented by part-time members.