Location:
DRUGS; PRISONS AND PRISONERS - STATISTICS;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


September 2, 2010

 

2010-R-0349

DRUG CRIME PRISON SENTENCES BY GEOGRAPHIC AREA

By: Soncia Coleman, Senior Legislative Attorney

You asked for a comparison of drug crime prison sentences in each geographical area.

SUMMARY

The Judicial Branch provided us with data on drug crime prison sentences in each geographical area (GA). The tables below show the average effective prison sentence in days (actual sentence imposed reduced by the portion the court suspended) for selected drug offenses from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. The crimes are also punishable by fines which are not included in the tables below.

The data does not account for factors that can affect sentencing such as the different criminal backgrounds of offenders and whether an offender pled guilty to a lesser crime than he or she was originally charged with. Some drug crimes have higher penalties for subsequent convictions. The data groups people convicted of each crime together and does not distinguish between those sentenced for first or subsequent convictions.

SALE AND POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO SELL

Hallucinogens or Narcotics

The law punishes sale and possession with intent to sell a hallucinogen or narcotic with a prison sentence of up to:

1. 15 years (5,475 days) for a first offense and

2. 30 years (10,950 days) for a subsequent offense (CGS 21a-277(a)).

The average sentence for sale crimes ranged from a low of 371 days in Middletown to a high of 990 days in Enfield. Two GA courts did not impose any sentences for sale crimes. The average sentence for possession with intent to sell crimes ranged from 365 days in Bantam and Enfield to a high of 1,073 days in New London. Five GA courts did not impose any sentences for this crime. Table 1 shows the average effective prison sentence for people convicted of these crimes in each GA court.

Table 1: Average Prison Sentence in Days for Sale or Possession with Intent to Sell a Hallucinogen or Narcotic in Each GA Court, July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010

 

Sale of Hallucinogen or

Narcotic

Possession with Intent to Sell Hallucinogen or Narcotic

Bantam

*

365

Bridgeport

690

681

Bristol

612

813

Danbury

*

*

Danielson

634

*

Derby

670

534

Enfield

990

365

Hartford

674

*

Manchester

657

900

Meriden

442

561

Middletown

371

687

Milford

628

*

New Britain

700

665

New Haven

703

781

New London

759

1073

Norwalk

511

894

Norwich

395

599

Rockville

636

*

Stamford

681

760

Waterbury

547

472

* No sentence imposed.

Controlled Substances Other Than Hallucinogens or Narcotics

The law punishes sale and possession with intent to sell a controlled substance other than a hallucinogen or narcotic with a prison sentence of up to:

1. seven years (2,555 days) for a first offense and

2. 15 years (5,475 days) for a subsequent offense (CGS 21a-277(b)).

The average sentence for sale crimes ranged from a low of 0 days in Milford to a high of 635 days in Norwich. One GA court did not impose any sentences for sale crimes. The average sentence for possession with intent to sell crimes ranged from 0 days in Bantam to a high of 611 in New London. Two GA courts did not impose any sentences for this crime. Table 2 shows the average effective prison sentence for people convicted of these crimes in each court geographical area.

Table 2: Average Prison Sentence in Days for Sale or Possession with Intent to Sell a Controlled Substance Other Than a Hallucinogen or Narcotic in Each GA Court, July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010

 

Sale of Controlled Substance Other Than Hallucinogen or Narcotic

Possession with Intent to Sell Controlled Substance Other Than Hallucinogen or Narcotic

Bantam

548

0

Bridgeport

370

356

Bristol

211

279

Danbury

*

*

Danielson

344

182

Derby

299

228

Enfield

325

243

Hartford

207

*

Manchester

383

592

Meriden

229

202

Middletown

125

340

Milford

0

486

New Britain

281

219

New Haven

294

318

New London

235

611

Norwalk

544

501

Norwich

635

274

Rockville

438

270

Stamford

499

284

Waterbury

162

235

* No sentence imposed.

Heroin, Methadone, Cocaine, and LSD

The law punishes the sale of one ounce or more of heroin or methadone, one-half ounce or more of cocaine or cocaine in a free-base form, or a substance containing five milligrams or more of LSD, by a non-drug-dependent person with a five (1,825 days) to 20 year (7,300 days) mandatory minimum prison sentence to maximum life prison sentence (CGS 21a-278(a)).

Only four GA courts imposed prison sentences for this crime, with the average sentence ranging from 450 days in Bristol to 2,190 days in Bridgeport. Table 3 shows the average effective prison sentence for people convicted of this crime in these four GA courts.

Table 3: Average Prison Sentence in Days for Sale or Possession with Intent to Sell Heroin, Methadone, Cocaine, or LSD by a Non-Drug-Dependent Person in Each GA Court,
July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010

 

Sale of Heroin, Methadone, Cocaine, or Crack by Non-dependent Person

Bridgeport

2,190

Bristol

450

New Haven

1,825

New London

1,825

Narcotics, Hallucinogens, and Cannabis

The law punishes sale or possession with intent to sell any narcotic substance, hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana, amphetamine-type substance, or one kilogram or more of a cannabis-type substance by a non drug-dependent person with a:

1. five year (1,825 days) mandatory minimum prison sentence to maximum 20 years (7,300 days) for a first offense and

2. 10 year (3,650 days) mandatory minimum prison sentence to maximum 25 years (9,125 days) for a subsequent offense (CGS 21a-278(b)).

The average sentence for sale crimes ranged from a low of 0 days in Manchester, Milford, and Waterbury to a high of 2,920 days in Norwalk. Nine GA courts did not impose any sentences for sale crimes. The average sentence for possession with intent to sell crimes ranged from 1,832 days in Bridgeport to a high of 2,074 in Meriden. Fifteen GA courts did not impose any sentences for this crime. Table 4 shows the average effective prison sentence for people convicted of these crimes in each court geographical area.

Table 4: Average Prison Sentence in Days for Sale or Possession with Intent to Sell a Narcotic, Hallucinogen, Amphetamine, or At Least 1 kg Marijuana by a Non-Drug-Dependent Person in Each GA Court, July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010

 

Sale of Narcotic, Hallucinogen, Amphetamine, or At Least 1 kg Marijuana by Non-dependent Person

Possession with Intent to Sell Narcotic, Hallucinogen, Amphetamine, or At Least 1 kg Marijuana by Non-dependent Person

Bantam

   

Bridgeport

2,202

1,832

Bristol

   

Danbury

   

Danielson

   

Derby

   

Enfield

   

Hartford

1,278

 

Manchester

0

 

Meriden

2,008

2,074

Middletown

   

Milford

0

 

New Britain

2,190

1,981

New Haven

2,342

1,871

New London

1,620

 

Norwalk

2,920

 

Norwich

   

Rockville

   

Stamford

1,825

1,959

Waterbury

0

 

Controlled Substance within 1,500 Feet of a Elementary or Secondary School, Public Housing Project, or Day Care

The law punishes any person who violates CGS 21a-277 or CGS 21a-278 by selling, or possessing with intent to sell, any controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a public or private elementary or secondary school, a public housing project, or a licensed child day care center that is identified as such by a sign posted in a conspicuous place, with a prison sentence of up to three years (1,095 days) which cannot be suspended and must be in addition and consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for the original violation. Only three courts imposed prison sentences for this crime as noted in Table 5 below.

Table 5: Average Prison Sentence in Days for Sale or Possession with Intent to Sell a Controlled Substance Within 1,500 Feet of a School, Public Housing Project, or Day Care in Each GA Court,
July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010

 

Violation of CGS 21a-277 or CGS 21a-278 within 1,500 ft of a School, Housing Project, or Day Care

Bridgeport

365

New Britain

1,095

New Haven

833

SIMPLE POSSESSION

The law punishes possession of narcotics with a prison sentence of up to seven years (2,555 days) for a first offense, up to 15 years (5,475 days) for a second offense, and up to 25 years (9,125 days) for a subsequent

offense (CGS 21a-279(a)). The average sentence for narcotics possession crimes ranged from a low of 116 days in Manchester to a high of 352 days in Rockville.

The law punishes possession of a hallucinogen or more than four ounces of marijuana with a prison sentence of up to five years (1,825 days) for a first offense and up to 10 years (3,650 days) for a subsequent offense (CGS 21a-279(b)). The average sentence for this crime ranged from a low of 0 days in six courts to a high of 450 days in Bristol. Three GA courts did not impose any prison sentence for this crime.

The law punishes possession of a controlled substance or less than four ounces of marijuana with a prison sentence of up to one year (365 days) for the first offense and up to five years (1,825 days) for a subsequent offense (CGS 21a-279(c)). The average sentence for this crime ranged from a low of 10 days in Bristol and Manchester to a high of 36 days in Bantam.

Table 6 shows the average effective prison sentence for people convicted of each of these crimes in each court geographical area.

Table 6: Average Prison Sentence in Days for Possession of Certain Substances in Each GA, July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010

 

Possess Narcotics

Possess Hallucinogen or More than Four Ounces Marijuana

Possess Controlled Substance or Less than Four Ounces Marijuana

Bantam

216

*

36

Bridgeport

243

0

34

Bristol

148

450

10

Danbury

122

*

16

Danielson

277

0

20

Derby

151

0

32

Enfield

157

0

12

Hartford

117

103

20

Manchester

116

219

10

Meriden

204

0

16

Middletown

348

30

17

Milford

266

260

26

New Britain

287

181

24

New Haven

198

261

11

New London

150

90

22

Norwalk

275

135

30

Norwich

188

0

16

Rockville

352

*

35

Stamford

234

297

20

Waterbury

133

319

21

* No sentence imposed.

SC:df