Connecticut Republican state legislators are attacking a controversial prison sentence reduction credit program, holding a partisan hearing that Democrats blasted as a campaign season stunt, reports CT Mirror. GOP Judiciary Committee members invited their Democratic counterparts, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration and members of the Board of Pardons and Parole and others to participate. While nearly all declined the opportunity, state victim advocate Michelle Cruz criticized the Risk Reduction Earned Credit program. Cruz charged that the administration has reduced sentences for some inmates who’ve failed to complete education, counseling or other necessary re-entry programs — a charge the administration insists is false.
Republicans argue that the program should not be available to any inmates convicted of violent offenses. The legislature granted the correction commissioner authority to grant inmates credits worth up to five days off their sentence for each month they participate in re-entry programs. The program came under more scrutiny in June when a former inmate who had earned credits worth 199 days was charged with fatally shooting a 70-year-old man in a convenience store. In July, a shop owner was killed by a man who had been released with credits. “The bottom line is we have a state policy that may very well have led to two murders,” said Senate Minority Leader John McKinney.