Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

Amendment

 

February Session, 2006

LCO No. 5087

   
 

*HB0578105087HDO*

Offered by:

 

REP. LAWLOR, 99th Dist.

 

To: Subst. House Bill No. 5781

File No. 503

Cal. No. 338

Strike everything after the enacting clause and substitute the following in lieu thereof:

"Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2006) For the purposes of sections 1 to 4, inclusive, and sections 6 and 7 of this act:

(1) "Barrier" means a denial of employment or a license based on an eligible offender's conviction of a crime without due consideration of whether the nature of the crime bears a direct relationship to such employment or license;

(2) "Eligible offender" means a person who has been convicted of a crime or crimes in this state or another jurisdiction and who is a resident of this state and is applying for a provisional pardon or is under the jurisdiction of the Board of Pardons and Paroles;

(3) "Employment" means any remunerative work, occupation or vocation or any form of vocational training, but does not include employment with a law enforcement agency;

(4) "Forfeiture" means a disqualification or ineligibility for employment or a license by reason of law based on an eligible offender's conviction of a crime;

(5) "License" means any license, permit, certificate or registration that is required to be issued by the state or any of its agencies to pursue, practice or engage in an occupation, trade, vocation, profession or business; and

(6) "Provisional pardon" means a form of relief from barriers or forfeitures to employment or the issuance of licenses granted to an eligible offender by the Board of Pardons and Paroles pursuant to section 2 of this act.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2006) (a) The Board of Pardons and Paroles may issue a provisional pardon to relieve an eligible offender of barriers or forfeitures by reason of such person's conviction of the crime or crimes specified in such provisional pardon. Such provisional pardon may be limited to one or more enumerated barriers or forfeitures or may relieve the eligible offender of all barriers and forfeitures. No provisional pardon shall apply or be construed to apply to the right of such person to retain or be eligible for public office.

(b) The Board of Pardons and Paroles may, in its discretion, issue a provisional pardon to an eligible offender upon verified application of such person. The board may issue a provisional pardon at any time after the sentencing of an eligible offender.

(c) The board shall not issue a provisional pardon unless the board is satisfied that:

(1) The person to whom the provisional pardon is to be issued is an eligible offender;

(2) The relief to be granted by the provisional pardon may promote the public policy of rehabilitation of ex-offenders through employment; and

(3) The relief to be granted by the provisional pardon is consistent with the public interest in public safety and the protection of property.

(d) In accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the board may limit the applicability of the provisional pardon to specified types of employment or licenses for which the eligible offender is otherwise qualified.

(e) The board may, for the purpose of determining whether such provisional pardon should be issued, request its staff to conduct an investigation of the applicant and submit to the board a report of the investigation. Any written report submitted to the board pursuant to this subsection shall be confidential and not disclosed except where required or permitted by any provision of the general statutes or upon specific authorization of the board.

(f) If a provisional pardon is issued by the board while an eligible offender is on probation or parole, the provisional pardon shall be deemed to be temporary until the person completes such person's period of probation or parole. During the period that such provisional pardon is temporary, the board may revoke such provisional pardon for violation of the conditions of such person's probation or parole.

(g) The board may at any time issue a new provisional pardon to enlarge the relief previously granted, and the provisions of subsections (a) to (e), inclusive, of this section shall apply to the issuance of any new provisional pardon.

(h) The application for a provisional pardon, the report of an investigation conducted pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, the provisional pardon and the revocation of a provisional pardon shall be in such form and contain such information as the Board of Pardons and Paroles shall prescribe.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2006) (a) Each state agency that issues licenses shall collect and maintain data on the number of eligible offenders who (1) presented a provisional pardon and were (A) issued a license, or (B) denied a license, and (2) did not present a provisional pardon and were (A) issued a license, or (B) denied a license.

(b) The Board of Pardons and Paroles shall collect and maintain data on the number of eligible offenders who (1) applied for a provisional pardon, and (2) were (A) issued a provisional pardon, and (B) denied a provisional pardon.

Sec. 4. Section 46a-80 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and subsection (b) of section 46a-81, and notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, a person shall not be disqualified from employment by the state of Connecticut or any of its agencies, nor shall a person be disqualified to practice, pursue or engage in any occupation, trade, vocation, profession or business for which a license, permit, certificate or registration is required to be issued by the state of Connecticut or any of its agencies solely because of a prior conviction of a crime.

(b) A person may be denied employment by the state or any of its agencies, or a person may be denied a license, permit, certificate or registration to pursue, practice or engage in an occupation, trade, vocation, profession or business by reason of the prior conviction of a crime if, after considering (1) the nature of the crime and its relationship to the job for which the person has applied, [; ] (2) information pertaining to the degree of rehabilitation of the convicted person, [; ] and (3) the time elapsed since the conviction or release, the state [,] or any of its agencies determines that (A) the [applicant is not suitable for the position of employment sought or the specific occupation, trade, vocation, profession or business for which the license, permit, certificate or registration is sought] nature of the crime has a direct bearing on such person's fitness or ability to perform one or more of the duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the employment or license, permit, certificate or registration sought, (B) the person is not sufficiently rehabilitated, or (C) insufficient time has elapsed since the conviction or release. In making a determination pursuant to this subsection, the state or any of its agencies shall also give consideration to a provisional pardon issued to such person pursuant to section 2 of this act.

(c) If a conviction of a crime is used as a basis for rejection of an applicant, such rejection shall be in writing and specifically state the evidence presented and reasons for rejection. A copy of such rejection shall be sent by registered mail to the applicant.

(d) In no case may records of arrest, which are not followed by a conviction, or records of convictions, which have been erased, be used, distributed or disseminated by the state or any of its agencies in connection with an application for employment or for a permit, license, certificate or registration.

Sec. 5. Section 46a-99 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

Any person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of any provision of sections 46a-70 to 46a-78, inclusive, section 46a-80, as amended by this act, or sections 46a-81h to 46a-81o, inclusive, may petition the Superior Court for appropriate relief and said court shall have the power to grant such relief, by injunction or otherwise, as it deems just and suitable.

Sec. 6. Section 54-130a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

(a) Jurisdiction over the granting of, and the authority to grant, commutations of punishment or releases, conditioned or absolute, in the case of any person convicted of any offense against the state and commutations from the penalty of death shall be vested in the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

(b) Said board shall have authority to grant pardons, conditioned, provisional or absolute, for any offense against the state at any time after the imposition and before or after the service of any sentence.

(c) Whenever the board grants an absolute pardon to any person, the [secretary of said] board shall cause notification of such pardon to be made in writing to the clerk of the court in which such person was convicted, or the Office of the Chief Court Administrator if such person was convicted in the Court of Common Pleas, the Circuit Court, a municipal court, or a trial justice court.

(d) Whenever the board grants a provisional pardon to any person, the board shall cause notification of such pardon to be made in writing to the clerk of the court in which such person was convicted. The granting of a provisional pardon does not entitle such person to erasure of the record of the conviction of the offense or relieve such person from disclosing the existence of such conviction as may be required.

Sec. 7. Section 31-51i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

(a) For the purposes of this section, "employer" means any person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state or any political subdivision of the state.

(b) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee may require an employee or prospective employee to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(c) An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language: (1) That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a, (2) that criminal records subject to erasure pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon, and (3) that any person whose criminal records have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.

(d) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall deny employment to a prospective employee solely on the basis that the prospective employee had a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a or that the prospective employee had a prior conviction for which the prospective employee has received a provisional pardon pursuant to section 54-130a, as amended by this act.

(e) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, or in any manner discriminate against, any employee solely on the basis that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, an arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a or that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, a prior conviction for which the employee has received a provisional pardon pursuant to section 54-130a, as amended by this act.

(f) The portion of an employment application form which contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee shall only be available to the members of the personnel department of the company, firm or corporation or, if the company, firm or corporation does not have a personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and to any employee or member of the company, firm or corporation, or an agent of such employee or member, involved in the interviewing of the applicant.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, the portion of an employment application form which contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee may be made available as necessary to persons other than those specified in said subsection (f) by:

(1) A broker-dealer or investment adviser registered under chapter 672a in connection with (A) the possible or actual filing of, or the collection or retention of information contained in, a form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, (B) the compliance responsibilities of such broker-dealer or investment adviser under state or federal law, or (C) the applicable rules of self-regulatory organizations promulgated in accordance with federal law;

(2) An insured depository institution in connection with (A) the management of risks related to safety and soundness, security or privacy of such institution, (B) any waiver that may possibly or actually be sought by such institution pursuant to section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 USC 1829(a), (C) the possible or actual obtaining by such institution of any security or fidelity bond, or (D) the compliance responsibilities of such institution under state or federal law; and

(3) An insurance producer licensed under chapter 701a in connection with (A) the management of risks related to security or privacy of such insurance producer, or (B) the compliance responsibilities of such insurance producer under state or federal law.

Sec. 8. Section 18-81w of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

(a) The [Departments of Correction, Mental Health and Addiction Services and Social Services and the Labor Department, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the judicial branch shall collaborate to] Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management shall develop and implement a comprehensive reentry strategy that provides a continuum of custody, care and control for offenders who are being supervised in the community, especially those offenders who have been discharged from the custody of the Department of Correction, and assists in maintaining the prison population at or under the authorized bed capacity. The reentry strategy shall support the rights of victims, protect the public and promote the successful transition of offenders from incarceration to the community by (1) maximizing any available period of community supervision for eligible and suitable offenders, (2) identifying and addressing barriers to the successful transition of offenders from incarceration to the community, (3) ensuring sufficient criminal justice resources to manage offender caseloads, (4) identifying community-based supervision, treatment, educational and other services and programs that are proven to be effective in reducing recidivism among the population served by such services and programs, and (5) establishing employment initiatives for offenders through public and private services and partnerships by reinvesting any savings achieved through a reduction in prison population.

(b) The success of the reentry strategy shall be measured by: (1) The rates of recidivism and community revictimization, (2) the number of inmates eligible for release on parole, transitional supervision, probation or any other release program, (3) the number of inmates who make the transition from incarceration to the community in compliance with a discharge plan, (4) prison bed capacity ratios, (5) the adequacy of the network of community-based treatment, vocational, educational, supervision and other services and programs, and (6) the reinvestment of any savings achieved through a reduction in prison population into reentry and community-based services and programs.

(c) Not later than January 1, [2005] 2007, and annually thereafter, the [Department of Correction] Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on the success of the reentry strategy based on the measures set forth in subsection (b) of this section to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to corrections, public safety and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies.

Sec. 9. Section 4-68m of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

(a) There is established a Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management. The division shall be under the direction of an undersecretary.

(b) The division shall develop a plan to promote a more effective and cohesive state criminal justice system and, to accomplish such plan, shall:

(1) Conduct an in-depth analysis of the criminal justice system;

(2) Determine the long-range needs of the criminal justice system and recommend policy priorities for the system;

(3) Identify critical problems in the criminal justice system and recommend strategies to solve those problems;

(4) Assess the cost-effectiveness of the use of state and local funds in the criminal justice system;

(5) Recommend means to improve the deterrent and rehabilitative capabilities of the criminal justice system;

(6) Advise and assist the General Assembly in developing plans, programs and proposed legislation for improving the effectiveness of the criminal justice system;

(7) Make computations of daily costs and compare interagency costs on services provided by agencies that are a part of the criminal justice system;

(8) Make population computations for use in planning for the long-range needs of the criminal justice system;

(9) Determine long-range information needs of the criminal justice system and acquire that information;

(10) Cooperate with the Office of the Victim Advocate by providing information and assistance to the office relating to the improvement of crime victims' services;

(11) Serve as the liaison for the state to the United States Department of Justice on criminal justice issues of interest to the state and federal government relating to data, information systems and research;

(12) Measure the success of community-based services and programs in reducing recidivism; [and]

(13) Develop and implement a comprehensive reentry strategy as provided in section 18-81m, as amended by this act; and

[(13)] (14) Engage in other activities consistent with the responsibilities of the division.

(c) In addition to the division's other duties under this section, the division may perform any function described in subsection (b) of this section to promote an effective and cohesive juvenile justice system.

(d) In the performance of its duties under this section, the division shall collaborate with the Department of Correction, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Public Safety and consult with the Chief Court Administrator, the executive director of the Court Support Services Division of the judicial branch, the Chief State's Attorney and the Chief Public Defender.

(e) (1) At the request of the division, the Department of Correction, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Public Safety, the Chief Court Administrator, the executive director of the Court Support Services Division of the judicial branch, the Chief State's Attorney and the Chief Public Defender shall provide the division with information and data needed by the division to perform its duties under subsection (b) of this section.

(2) The division shall have access to individualized records maintained by the judicial branch and the agencies specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection as needed for research purposes. The division, in collaboration with the judicial branch and the agencies specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection, shall develop protocols to protect the privacy of such individualized records consistent with state and federal law. The division shall use such individualized records for statistical analyses only and shall not use such records in any other manner that would disclose the identity of individuals to whom the records pertain.

(3) Any information or data provided to the division pursuant to this subsection that is confidential in accordance with state or federal law shall remain confidential while in the custody of the division and shall not be disclosed.

(f) Not later than January 15, 2007, the division shall submit the plan developed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to the Governor and, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to criminal justice, public safety and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. Not later than January 15, 2009, and biennially thereafter, the division shall update such plan and submit such updated plan to the Governor and said legislative committees.

Sec. 10. Section 4-68p of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

Not later than January first of each year, the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management shall submit a report, in accordance with section 11-4a, and make a presentation to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to criminal justice and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies concerning its activities and recommendations under section 4-68m and specifying the actions necessary to promote an effective and cohesive criminal justice system. The report shall estimate the amount of savings inuring to the benefit of the state on account of the actual prison population being less than projected prior to the adoption of prison overcrowding reduction policies and make recommendations as to the manner in which a portion of such cost savings may be reinvested in community-based services and programs and community supervision by probation and parole officers in order to maintain that reduction in projected prison population. Beginning with the report to be submitted and the presentation to be made not later than January 1, 2008, the division shall include an assessment of the status of the development and implementation of the reentry strategy under section 18-81w, as amended by this act.

Sec. 11. Section 18-87j of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

There is established a [Commission on Prison and Jail Overcrowding] Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission which shall be within the Office of Policy and Management for administrative purposes only. The commission shall consist of the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management, the Chief Court Administrator, the Commissioner of Correction, the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Chief State's Attorney, the Chief Public Defender, the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, or their designees, the executive director of the Court Support Services Division or other designee of the Chief Court Administrator and the following members, each of whom shall be appointed by the Governor: Three government officials, a police chief, two persons representing offender and victim services within the private community and two public members. In addition, the Labor Commissioner and the Commissioner of Social Services, or their designees, shall be members of the commission with authority to deliberate and vote on matters concerning employment and entitlement programs available to adult and juvenile offenders who are reentering the community, and the Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Education, or their designees, shall be members of the commission with authority to participate and vote on matters concerning juvenile justice. The undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division shall serve as chairperson of the commission. The commission shall meet at such times as it deems necessary.

Sec. 12. Section 18-87k of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

(a) The [commission] Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission shall: (1) Develop and recommend policies for preventing prison and jail overcrowding; (2) examine the impact of statutory provisions and current administrative policies on prison and jail overcrowding and recommend legislation to the Governor and the General Assembly; [and] (3) research and gather relevant statistical data and other information concerning the impact of efforts to prevent prison and jail overcrowding and make such information available to criminal justice agencies and members of the General Assembly; (4) advise the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division on policies and procedures to promote more effective and cohesive state criminal justice and juvenile justice systems and to develop and implement the offender reentry strategy as provided in 18-81w, as amended by this act; and (5) assist the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division in developing the recommendations included in the report and presentation made by the division pursuant to section 4-68p, as amended by this act.

(b) The commission shall establish a subcommittee on corrections behavioral health composed of the Commissioner of Correction, the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services and a representative of The University of Connecticut Health Center having responsibility for the administration of the contract with the Department of Correction concerning the provision of health care services to inmates of the department. The subcommittee shall make recommendations to the commission concerning the provision of behavioral health services to inmates of the Department of Correction.

Sec. 13. (Effective July 1, 2006) (a) There is established a Connecticut Sentencing Task Force to review criminal justice and sentencing policies and laws of this state for the purpose of creating a more just, effective and efficient system of criminal sentencing.

(b) The task force shall be composed of the following members:

(1) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly on the judiciary;

(2) Two judges of the superior court, each of whom shall have been a judge for at least ten years and have at least five years experience presiding over cases in judicial district criminal courts, appointed by the Chief Court Administrator;

(3) Two state's attorneys each of whom shall have at least ten years experience as a prosecuting attorney and at least five years experience prosecuting cases in judicial district criminal courts, appointed by the Chief State's Attorney;

(4) Two public defenders each of whom shall have at least ten years experience as a public defender and at least five years experience representing defendants in judicial district criminal courts, appointed by the Chief Public Defender;

(5) Two criminal defense lawyers each of whom shall have at least fifteen years experience representing defendants in criminal cases, one of whom shall be appointed by the criminal justice section of the Connecticut Bar Association and one of whom shall be appointed by the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association;

(6) The executive director of the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch or the executive director's designee;

(7) The Commissioner of Correction or the commissioner's designee;

(8) The Chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Paroles or the chairperson's designee;

(9) The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services or the commissioner's designee;

(10) The Victim Advocate or the Victim Advocate's designee;

(11) The undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management;

(12) An assistant attorney general, appointed by the Attorney General;

(13) Three municipal police chiefs, one of whom shall represent an urban area, one of whom shall represent a suburban area and one of whom shall represent a rural area, appointed by the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association; and

(14) Six members of the General Assembly, appointed one each by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(c) The chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly on the judiciary shall serve as chairpersons of the task force.

(d) The task force shall:

(1) Identify overarching criminal justice and sentencing goals and policies;

(2) Define current sentencing models including sentencing guidelines, criteria, exemptions and enhancements;

(3) Analyze sentencing trends by offense types and offender characteristics;

(4) Review the actual versus intended impact of sentencing policies;

(5) Determine the direct and indirect costs associated with sentencing policies;

(6) Review the fines and terms of imprisonment specified for violations of criminal statutes that are classified or unclassified felonies or misdemeanors and make recommendations including, but not limited to: (A) Whether crimes that are currently unclassified should be classified; (B) whether certain classified crimes should be reclassified or the penalties for certain unclassified crimes should be revised in order to make the penalties for similar crimes more uniform; (C) whether the penalty or type of penalty for certain crimes should be revised or eliminated where such penalty or type of penalty is no longer deemed necessary or appropriate or is disproportionate to the severity of the crime; and (D) whether crimes that are obsolete should be repealed; and

(7) Make any recommendations for the revision of criminal justice and sentencing policies as deemed necessary.

(e) The Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management shall assist the task force by providing criminal justice data, analyses and technical assistance necessary for the task force to carry out its duties.

(f) The task force may request any office, department, board, commission or other agency of the state to supply such reports, information and assistance as may be necessary or appropriate in order for the task force to carry out its duties. Each officer or employee of such office, department, board, commission or other agency of the state is authorized and directed to cooperate with the task force and to furnish such reports, information and assistance.

(g) The task force shall report its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly on the judiciary in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes not later than December 1, 2008. The task force shall terminate upon the completion of its duties. "

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

Section 1

October 1, 2006

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2006

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2006

New section

Sec. 4

October 1, 2006

46a-80

Sec. 5

October 1, 2006

46a-99

Sec. 6

October 1, 2006

54-130a

Sec. 7

October 1, 2006

31-51i

Sec. 8

July 1, 2006

18-81w

Sec. 9

July 1, 2006

4-68m

Sec. 10

July 1, 2006

4-68p

Sec. 11

July 1, 2006

18-87j

Sec. 12

July 1, 2006

18-87k

Sec. 13

July 1, 2006

New section