Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1065

January Session, 2009

 

LCO No. 4111

 

*04111_______VA_*

Referred to Committee on Select Committee on Veterans' Affairs

 

Introduced by:

 

(VA)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING A PRETRIAL DIVERSIONARY PROGRAM FOR VETERANS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) There shall be a supervised diversionary program for veterans accused of a crime or crimes or a motor vehicle violation or violations for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment may be imposed, which crimes or violations are not of a serious nature. The program shall be open to any veteran who demonstrates that he or she has service-related traumatic brain injury or post traumatic stress disorder.

(b) A veteran shall be ineligible for participation in such supervised diversionary program if such veteran (1) is ineligible to participate in the pretrial program for accelerated rehabilitation under subsection (c) of section 54-56e, or (2) has twice previously participated in such supervised diversionary program.

(c) Upon application by any veteran for participation in the program, the court shall, but only as to the public, order the court file sealed provided such veteran states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under penalties of perjury, that such veteran has not had such program invoked in such veteran's behalf more than once. Court personnel shall provide notice, on a form approved by rule of court, to any victim of such crime or motor vehicle violation, by registered or certified mail, that such veteran has applied for the program and that such victim has an opportunity to be heard by the court on the matter.

(d) The court shall refer such veteran to the Court Support Services Division for confirmation of eligibility and assessment of the veteran's mental health condition. The prosecuting attorney shall provide the division with a copy of the police report in the case to assist the division in its assessment. The division shall determine if the veteran is amenable to treatment and if appropriate services and treatment are available. If the division determines that the veteran is amenable to treatment and that appropriate services and treatment are available, it shall develop a treatment plan tailored to the veteran and shall present it to the court.

(e) Upon confirmation of eligibility and consideration of the treatment plan presented by the Court Support Services Division, the court may grant such application. If the court grants the application, such veteran shall be referred to the division. The division shall collaborate with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Veterans' Affairs to place such veteran in a program that provides appropriate community supervision, treatment and services. The veteran shall be subject to the supervision of a probation officer who has a reduced caseload and specialized training in working with veterans who have service-related traumatic brain injury or post traumatic stress disorder.

(f) The Court Support Services Division shall establish policy and procedures to require division employees to notify any victim of the veteran admitted to the program of any conditions ordered by the court that directly affect the victim and of such veteran's scheduled court appearances with respect to the case.

(g) Any veteran who enters the program shall agree: (1) To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime or violation; (2) to a waiver of such veteran's right to a speedy trial; and (3) to any conditions that may be established by the division concerning participation in the supervised diversionary program including conditions concerning participation in meetings or sessions of the program.

(h) If the Court Support Services Division informs the court that such veteran is ineligible for the program and the court makes a determination of ineligibility or if the division certifies to the court that such veteran did not successfully complete the assigned program, the court shall order the court file to be unsealed, enter a plea of not guilty for such veteran and immediately place the case on the trial list.

(i) If such veteran satisfactorily completes the assigned program, such veteran may apply for dismissal of the charges against such veteran and the court, on reviewing the record of such veteran's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If such veteran does not apply for dismissal of the charges against such veteran after satisfactorily completing the assigned program, the court, upon receipt of the record of such veteran's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss the charges. Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, upon dismissal, all records of such charges shall be erased pursuant to section 54-142a. An order of the court denying a motion to dismiss the charges against a veteran who has completed such veteran's period of probation or supervision or terminating the participation of a veteran in such program shall be a final judgment for purposes of appeal.

(j) The Court Support Services Division shall develop and maintain a database of information concerning veterans admitted to the supervised diversionary program that shall be available to the state police and organized local police departments for use by sworn police officers when responding to incidents involving such veterans. Such information shall include the veteran's name, date of birth, Social Security number, the violation or violations with which the veteran was charged, the dates of program participation and whether a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was involved in the violation or violations for which the program was granted. The division shall enter such information in the database upon such veteran's entry into the program, update such information as necessary and retain such information for a period of five years after the date of such veteran's entry into the program.

(k) The Court Support Services Division, in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, shall develop standards and oversee appropriate treatment programs to meet the requirements of this section and may contract with service providers to provide such programs.

(l) The Court Support Services Division shall retain the police report provided to it by the prosecuting attorney and the record of supervision including the dates of supervision and shall provide such information to the court, prosecuting attorney and defense counsel whenever a court is considering whether to grant an application by such veteran for participation in the supervised diversionary program for a second time.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2009

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To provide a diversionary program for veterans suffering from service-related traumatic brain injury or post traumatic stress syndrome who are accused of a crime.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]