OLR Bill Analysis

SB 1700

Emergency Certification

AN ACT CONCERNING CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM.

SUMMARY:

The bill:

1. creates the new crime of home invasion and increases the penalty for burglary of a dwelling at night by making it 1st degree, instead of 2nd degree, burglary;

2. makes someone convicted of 2nd degree burglary or home invasion ineligible for parole until he or she has served at least 85% of the sentence imposed;

3. eliminates a factual finding currently required to trigger enhanced sentencing under state persistent offender laws;

4. alters the composition, qualification requirements, and appointment process for the Board of Pardons and Paroles (BOPP); requires a training program for board members and parole officers; prohibits parole hearings from being conducted unless the chairperson has certified that all pertinent information has been obtained or is unavailable; and requires the board to hire at least one psychologist;

5. eliminates the parole administrative review procedure;

6. updates the crime victim notification law; gives the paroles board discretion to permit family members of living victims to make statements at pardons and paroles board hearings; and directs the Judicial Branch to (a) implement an automated victim notification system that, among other things, can notify interested victims when the court is considering whether to accept a plea bargain and (b) assign two victim advocates to assist crime victims appearing at BOPP hearings;

7. limits the reasons that the Department of Correction (DOC) can grant an inmate a furlough;

8. increases the number of reentry, diversionary, and staff-secure sexual offender beds;

9. requires the Judicial Branch to post certain arrest warrant information on the Internet;

10. requires global positioning system (GPS) monitoring of 300 more parolees;

11. affords BOPP members and employees and certain DOC employees access to juvenile and youthful offender court records in limited circumstances;

12. requires judges to state reasons for imposing conditions on people arrested for certain serious crimes when they release them from custody;

13. establishes a committee to study ways to create incentives for towns that allow community-based offender programs to be located in them;

14. changes administrative driver's license suspension periods when the driver's elevated blood alcohol level is determined by evidence provided by a hospital;

15. moves the effective date of a new consumer reporting law from February 1, 2008 to May 1, 2008;

16. requires probationers who are the subject of arrest warrants or notices to appear to continue to comply with their release conditions;

17. increases the responsibilities of the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission;

18. expands membership in the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Governing Board, directs that body to hire an executive director and design and implement a state of the art information technology system, and appropriates $ 2. 25 million for these purposes;

19. creates a diversionary program for people with psychiatric disorders who have been accused of less serious crimes;

20. appropriates money for reentry and diversionary services in Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven;

21. by January 1, 2009, directs DOC to provide the BOPP with a secure video connection at each correctional facility for conducting parole hearings by videoconference ( 15); and

22. requires DOC, BOPP, and the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division (CSSD) to develop a risk assessment strategy for offenders in DOC custody.

EFFECTIVE DATE: See below

1-4 – HOME INVASION AND BURGLARY CRIMES

Home Invasion

The bill creates the new crime of home invasion. A person commits this crime by entering or remaining unlawfully in an occupied dwelling with intent to commit a crime and in the course of committing the offense:

1. acting alone or with another, commits or attempts to commit a felony against the person of someone other than a participant in the crime who is in the dwelling or

2. is armed with explosives, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument.

The bill uses the definitions in the burglary statutes, including the definition of a “dwelling,” which is a building that is usually occupied by a person lodging at night, whether or not a person is actually present. Under the bill, “in the course of committing” the offense means that an act occurs in an attempt to commit the offense or fleeing after the attempt or commission.

The bill makes this crime a class A felony, punishable by 10 to 25 years in prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, a fine of up to $ 20,000, or both. This conduct is currently covered under the burglary statutes and, depending on the circumstances, would be punishable as a class B, C, or D felony and could carry a one- or five-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Burglary Crimes

The bill increases the penalty for committing burglary of a dwelling at night by making it 1st degree burglary instead of 2nd degree burglary. It increases the penalty for this conduct from a class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $ 10,000, or both to a class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $ 15,000, or both.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 1, 2008

5 – PAROLE ELIGIBILITY

The bill makes someone convicted of burglary in the second degree or the new crime of home invasion ineligible for parole until he or she has served at least 85% of the sentence imposed. The law imposes this same 85% requirement on people convicted of an offense where the underlying facts and circumstances of the offense involve the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person. Thus, under current law, people convicted of first degree burglary, second degree burglary with a firearm, or third degree burglary with a firearm must serve 85% before being eligible for parole.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 1, 2008

6-11 – PERSISTENT OFFENDER STATUTES

Classification as a Persistent Dangerous Felony Offender

Current law, under certain circumstances, authorizes courts to sentence people classified as a persistent dangerous felony offender to a longer prison term than the offense they are convicted of allows. To be classified as a persistent dangerous felony offender, an offender has to (1) stand convicted of certain offenses (this is referred to as the current offense) and (2) have been convicted of, and imprisoned for, specified crimes under a sentence of at least one year in prison, or of death, in Connecticut, in any other state, or in a federal prison before he or she committed the current offense.

There are two separate paths to be classified this way. Table 1 compares the persistent dangerous felony offender classification under current law and the bill.

Table 1: Persistent Dangerous Felony Offender

(proposed changes in bold italics)

Current Conviction ( 53a-40(a)(1))

Manslaughter

Arson

Kidnapping

1st or 2nd degree robbery

1st degree assault

Home invasion

1st degree burglary

2nd degree burglary with a firearm

 

Prior Conviction

Murder

Manslaughter

Arson

Kidnapping

1st or 2nd degree robbery

1st degree assault

1st degree sexual assault, including aggravated

3rd degree sexual assault, including with a firearm

Home invasion

1st degree burglary

2nd degree burglary with a firearm

Attempt to commit the new crimes (current law already includes attempts for the current list of crimes)

OR

Current Conviction ( 53a-40(a)(2))

1st degree sexual assault, including aggravated

3rd degree sexual assault, including with firearm

 

Prior Conviction

Murder

Manslaughter

Arson

Kidnapping

1st or 2nd degree robbery

1st degree assault

Home invasion

1st degree burglary

2nd degree burglary with a firearm

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 1, 2008

Penalties – Persistent Offenders and Acts of Terrorism

Under current law, when any person has been found to be a persistent dangerous felony offender, the court must find that the nature and circumstances of the offender's criminal conduct indicate that extended incarceration and lifetime supervision will best serve the public interest in order to impose the higher penalty. The penalty is up to 40 years or, if the offender has at separate times prior to the commission of the present crime been twice convicted of and imprisoned for any of the specified crimes, up to life imprisonment. (Apparently this means a 60 year sentence because the law defines a life sentence as 60 years unless the offense explicitly provides otherwise (CGS 53a-35h). )

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that a convicted offender has the right to have a jury make the findings about whether he or she should be subject to the more stringent penalties associated with the persistent dangerous felony offender classification. The bill eliminates the required findings and instead requires the court to impose the higher penalty on an offender who meets the criteria to be classified as a persistent dangerous felony offender.

The bill makes this same change to eliminate the required court findings in the provision that increases the penalty one class for acts of terrorism and the other categories of persistent offenders. By eliminating the required finding, the bill requires the court to impose the higher sentence authorized by the statute for:

1. acts of terrorism,

2. persistent dangerous sexual offenders,

3. persistent bigotry or bias offenders, and

4. persistent stalking and harassment-related offenders.

In the following four persistent offender classifications, the bill eliminates the required finding but, as under current law, the court is authorized but not required to impose the higher penalty authorized by the statute:

1. persistent serious felony offenders,

2. persistent serious sexual offenders,

3. persistent felony offenders,

4. persistent larceny offenders, and

5. persistent operating under the influence felony offenders.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Background—State v. Bell

The state Supreme Court recently held that the statute that mandates sentence enhancement when the defendant is found to be a persistent dangerous felony offender and the trial court, rather than the jury, determines that extended incarceration will best serve the public interest, given the defendant's history, character, and the nature and circumstances of his or criminal offenses, violates a defendant's federal constitutional right to trial by jury (State v. Bell, 283 Conn. 748 (2007)).

The court ruled that the defendant was entitled to a new sentencing proceeding wherein the jury must make the determination, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether, upon consideration of the relevant factors specified in the persistent felony offender law, extended incarceration will best serve the public interest.

The court noted in its ruling that in those cases in which the defendant chooses to waive his or her right to a jury trial under the persistent felony offender law, the court may continue to make the requisite finding. Additionally, the court properly may impose an enhanced sentence if the defendant admits to the fact that extended incarceration is in the public interest.

12 — CHANGES TO THE BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES

Membership

The bill increases the membership of the BOPP from 13 to a maximum of 25 between February 1, 2008 and July 1, 2008. On June 30, 2008, it ends the terms of board members the chairman assigned exclusively to parole hearings (seven members). Terms of the chairman and members assigned to pardons hearings or those appointed by the governor beginning on February 1, 2008 are not affected.

Beginning July 1, 2008, it reduces the membership to 18 and requires 12 members to serve exclusively on parole release panels and five exclusively on pardons panels. As under current law, the bill allows the chairman to serve on both types of panels.

Qualifications

Under current law, the chairman must be qualified by education, experience, and training in administering community corrections, parole, or pardons. For all members appointed starting February 1, 2008, the bill requires them to be qualified by education, experience, or training in administering community corrections, parole, or pardons; criminal justice; criminology; evaluation or supervision of offenders; or providing mental health services to offenders.

Appointment Process

Starting February 1, 2008, the bill requires (1) the governor to specify appointments for chairman, full-time or part-time parole panel members, and pardons panel members and (2) both houses of the General Assembly, rather than just one, to approve of the governor's appointments.

Beginning with appointments submitted by the governor to the General Assembly on February 1, 2008, the bill requires their referral to the Judiciary Committee instead of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee. It requires the Judiciary Committee to report on them within 30 legislative days of the referral.

Five Parole Panel Members Serve Full-Time

Under current law, the chairman serves full time and is compensated as determined by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). Under the bill, the five board members appointed by the governor beginning on February 1, 2008 to serve on parole panels also serve full-time and receive compensation as set by DAS. As under current law, the remaining board members receive $ 110 for each day they perform their duties, plus necessary expenses.

Parole and Pardons Panels

Under current law, the chairman assigns seven members to parole panels, five to pardons panels, and he can serve on both types of panels. The bill limits this authority to members appointed before February 1, 2008.

Under current law, parole release panels consist of two members and the chairman or his designee who serves temporarily. Until July 1, 2008, the bill allows the two panel members to be chosen from the members (1) assigned by the chairman to parole hearings or (2) appointed by the governor, beginning on February 1, 2008, to serve on parole panels. Beginning on July 1, 2008, the bill (1) requires the panel to consist of two members from among those the governor appointed, on or after February 1, 2008, to serve on parole panels with at least one being a full-time member and (2) only allows the chairman to designate a full-time member to serve temporarily in his place.

Under current law, pardons panels consist of three members, one of whom can be the chairman. But the chairman must be on the panel for a hearing about commuting a death sentence. Under the bill, panel members can be chosen from those members (1) assigned to pardons hearings by the chairman or (2) appointed by the governor, starting on February 1, 2008, so serve on pardons panels.

The bill eliminates the administrative review process for parole decisions effective July 1, 2008 and it eliminates the authority of parole panels to approve or deny these release decisions on that date (see 44).

Information for Parole Decisions

The bill prohibits a board panel from holding a hearing on someone's suitability for parole or, until July 1, 2008, a meeting to consider a board employee's recommendation to grant parole under the administrative parole process (a process which the bill eliminates on July 1, 2008) unless the chairman (1) has made reasonable efforts to determine the existence of and obtain all information deemed pertinent to the decision and (2) certifies that all existing pertinent information has been obtained or is unavailable.

Training for Board Members and Parole Officers

The bill requires the board's chairman and executive director to establish a formal training program for board and parole officers that at least includes an overview of:

1. the criminal justice system;

2. the parole system, including factors to consider in granting parole;

3. victims rights and services;

4. reentry strategies;

5. risk assessment;

6. case management; and

7. mental health issues.

Board Psychologist

The bill requires the board to employ at least one psychologist with expertise in risk assessment and recidivism of criminal offenders. The psychologist is supervised by the chairman and assists the board in its parole decisions.

Board Procedures

By law, the chairman is executive and administrative head of the board and has certain authorities and responsibilities. The bill gives the chairman authority and responsibility for establishing procedural rules for members to follow when conducting hearings, reviewing recommendations made by board employees, and making decisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

13-14 & 26-32 – CRIME VICTIMS

Current law requires DOC to notify the Office of Victim Services (OVS) when an inmate is granted a specific type of furlough. It must give the notice when an inmate is allowed to serve an unspecified period of time reintegrating into the community immediately preceding his discharge or release on parole. OVS must notify, by certified mail, victims who have requested notice of an inmate's scheduled release. Victims are responsible for making sure that OVS has their current mailing address. The bill eliminates this victim notification requirement.

Notification of Reentry Furloughs

The bill requires victims requesting notification to provide their telephone numbers and allows OVS, the DOC's Victim Services Unit, and the BOPP to share victim contact information (OVS and the Victim Services Unit can already do this).

Automated Notification and Plea Bargains

The bill requires the Judicial Branch to contract for the establishment and implementation of a statewide, automated victim notification system (SAVIN) to provide registered crime victims notice of relevant offender information and status reports. OVS, BOPP, DOC's Victim Services Unit and the Criminal Justice Division (i. e. , prosecutors) must use it.

The bill mandates that the system be operational by the earlier of (1) July 1, 2009 or (2) 30 days after receipt of notice that federal funds have been awarded for its establishment and implementation.

Automated Notice of Plea Bargains. Once the SAVIN system is operational, the bill requires that it be used to inform victims who have asked to be notified when the court is considering acceptance of a plea bargain. It deems notification to have occurred when the SAVIN system has been updated to reflect the plea agreement offer.

BOPP Statements from Victims' Families

Under current law, crime victims' immediate family members are entitled to appear and make a statement before the BOPP panel that is considering the perpetrator's parole eligibility only if the actual victim of the crime is dead. The bill expressly gives the board discretion to allow one or more family members of a live victim to appear and speak. As under existing law, those who are permitted to appear may choose to submit a written statement instead.

Victim Advocates for BOPP Hearings

The bill also directs OVS to assign two full-time victim advocates to assist victims who appear before BOPP panels or submit written statements. It is unclear whether a live victim's immediate family members who have been granted permission to make a statement are eligible for this assistance.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

16 – FURLOUGHS

The bill alters the reasons that the DOC commissioner can grant an inmate a furlough.

Under current law, the DOC commissioner can allow an inmate to visit a specifically designated place, within or outside the state, under specified conditions for up to 30 days for (1) visiting a dying relative, (2) attending a relative's funeral, (3) obtaining medical services not otherwise available, (4) contacting prospective employers, or (5) any “compelling reason consistent with rehabilitation.

The bill eliminates furloughs for “any compelling reason consistent with rehabilitation. ” It also restricts furloughs to contact prospective employers to those where the commissioner confirms than an employment opportunity exists and an employment interview is scheduled.

By law, the commissioner can renew furloughs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

17 – REENTRY BEDS

The bill requires DOC to contract for an additional 35 reentry beds for immediate occupancy, and for an additional 50 reentry beds for occupancy by July 1, 2008, and another 50 for occupancy by November 15, 2008. (These beds are available to criminal offenders toward the end of their prison term to re-enter the community under supervision. )

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

18 – DIVERSIONARY BEDS

The bill requires the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division (CSSD) to contract for an additional 35 diversionary beds for immediate occupancy, for an additional 50 diversionary beds for occupancy by July 1, 2008, and for another 50 for occupancy by November 15, 2008. (These beds are available to offenders ordered to participate in one of the state's alternative to incarceration programs. )

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

19 & 20 – RESIDENTIAL SEX OFFENDER FACILITIES

The bill requires DOC and the Judicial Branch's CSSD to each contract for 12 beds in staff secure residential sex offender treatment facilities for occupancy not later than July 1, 2008.

The bill requires DOC and CSSD to report to the Governor and the General Assembly by April 15, 2008 concerning the progress made in contracting for these beds. The report must include (1) the number of beds contracted for as of the date of such report, (2) the date such beds became or will become available, (3) the number of additional beds that could become available in FY 2009, and (4) any obstacles encountered or foreseen in making these beds available.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

21 – ARREST WARRANTS ON THE INTERNET

The bill requires the Judicial Branch's CSSD to make available on the Internet:

1. information on all outstanding arrest warrants for probation violations including the probationer's name, address, and photographic image and

2. quarterly reports by the court of issuance of all outstanding arrest warrants for probation violations including the name and address of the probationer named in each such warrant and the date the warrant was issued.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

22 – ELECTRONIC MONITORING OF ADDITIONAL PAROLEES

The bill requires the DOC to use a global positioning system (GPS) to electronically monitor an additional 200 parolees immediately after the bill is enacted, and an additional 100 parolees by July 1, 2008, whose risk levels indicate that they are most likely to re-offend.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

23 & 24 – BOPP AND DOC ACCESS TO JUVENILE AND YOUTHFUL OFFENDER RECORDS

The bill requires courts to give BOPP members and their employees and DOC employees access to otherwise-confidential records concerning juvenile delinquency and youthful offender proceedings in certain circumstances. Access is limited to members or employees who need this to perform their jobs and only records involving a (1) juvenile or youthful offender who has been convicted of a crime on the regular criminal docket or (2) youthful offender who was sentenced to jail time are disclosable.

The records must also be relevant to:

1. the performance of a risk and needs assessment of the person while he or she is incarcerated,

2. a release from incarceration or pardon decision, or

3. the determination of the person's supervision and treatment needs while on parole or some other form of supervised release.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

25 – COURT FINDINGS RELATED TO RELEASE CONDITIONS

When a person is arrested for specified serious crimes for which bail release is available, the law specifies factors that judges may take into account in determining what conditions of release will reasonably assure (1) the person's appearance in court and (2) that the safety of any other person will not be endangered. The factors are:

1. the nature and circumstances of the offense;

2. the arrestee's criminal history, record of appearing in court after being released on bail, family and community ties, employment record, and financial resources, character, and mental condition;

3. the number and seriousness of pending charges, the weight of the evidence against the arrestee, and whether he or she has previously been convicted of similar offenses while released on bond; and

4. the arrestee's history of violence and, based on the arrestee's expressed intention, the likelihood that he or she will commit another crime while released.

For people arrested for these specified serious crimes, the bill requires the court to state for the record the factors it considered at the time it imposes conditions of release. It must also state any findings about the danger, if any, that the arrestee might pose to the safety of any other person that caused it to impose specific conditions of release.

The specified serious crimes this requirement applies to are:

1. any class A felony;

2. any class B felony, except a violation of 53a-86 (promoting prostitution in the first degree) or 53a-122 (larceny in the first degree);

3. any class C felony, except a violation of 53a-87 (promoting prostitution in the second degree) 53a-152 (bribery of a juror), or 53a-153 (bribe receiving by a juror);

4. the following class D felonies- 53a-60 (assault in the second degree), 53a-60a (assault in the second degree with a firearm), 53a-60b (assault of an elderly, blind, disabled, pregnant or mentally retarded person in the second degree), 53a-60c (assault of an elderly, blind, disabled, pregnant or mentally retarded person in the second degree with a firearm), 53a-72a (sexual assault in the third degree), 53a-95 (unlawful restraint in the first degree), 53a-103 (burglary in the third degree), 53a-103a (burglary in the third degree with a firearm), 53a-114 (reckless burning), 53a-136 (robbery in the third degree), or 53a-216 (criminal use of firearm or electronic defense weapon); or

5. a family violence crime.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

33 – COMMITTEE TO STUDY MUNICIPAL SITING INCENTIVES FOR COMMUNITY-BASED OFFENDER FACILITIES AND HOUSING

The bill establishes an 18-member committee to study how the state can effectively provide municipalities with incentives for allowing community-based facilities for offenders (such as halfway houses and transitional and supportive housing) to be located in their communities.

The committee is composed of the (1) correction commissioner, (2) Judicial Branch CSSD's executive director, (3) the Office of Policy and Management's (OPM) Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division undersecretary, and (4) chairpersons and ranking members of the Judiciary and Planning and Development committees. Other members and their appointing authorities are shown below.

Public Members

Appointing Authorities

2 representatives of community-based facilities

1 each appointed by the House majority and minority leaders

A representative of a municipality with fewer than 25,000 residents

Senate minority leader

A representative of a municipality with between 25,000 and 50,000 residents

Governor

A representative of a municipality with between 50,000 and 75,000 residents

House Speaker

A representative of a municipality with between 75,000 and 100,000 residents

Senate President pro tempore

A representative of a municipality with more than 100,000 residents

Senate majority leader

The governor must appoint the chairperson from among the members and the committee must report its findings and recommendations to the legislature and governor by January 1, 2009.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

34 – ADMINISTRATIVE DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

When evidence lawfully obtained from a hospital indicates that a driver involved in an accident had a blood alcohol level exceeding legal limits (. 08% or more for adults and . 02% or more for those under age 21), the law permits the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner to administratively suspend his or her driver's license. The suspension period is currently 90 days for a first offense and up to one year for second and subsequent offenses.

The bill, instead, imposes the same suspension periods as are applicable to cases in which a driver's breath test indicates a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. The change will substantially increase license suspension periods for drivers under age 21. For older drivers, suspension periods will increase in some situations and decrease in others. The bill does not alter the 90-day suspension period for first-time-offending adults with elevated blood alcohol levels of less than . 16%.

Table 1 compares suspension periods under current law and the bill.

Table 1: Administrative Per Se License Suspension Periods: —Test Results Obtained from Hospital

Per Se Offense

First Offense

Second Offense

Third or Subsequent Offense

BAC at least . 08% but less than . 16%

Current: 90 days

Bill: 90 days

Current: up to 1 yr.

Bill: 9 mos.

Current: up to 1 yr.

Bill: 2 yrs.

BAC of . 16% or more

Current: 90 days

Bill: 120 days

Current: up to 1 yr.

Bill: 10 mos.

Current: up to 1 yr.

Bill: 2 yrs. , 6 mos.

BAC of . 02% or more (driver is under 21)

Current: 90 days

Bill: 180 days

Current: up to 1 yr.

Bill: 18 mos.

Current: up to 1 yr.

Bill: 4 yrs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

35 – EFFECTIVE DATE FOR CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCY LEGISLATION

The bill changes from February 1, 2008 to May 1, 2008, the effective date of a new law (PA 07-243) that regulates consumer reports that (1) contain criminal matters of public record and (2) are used or expected to be used in employment.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Background

PA 07-243 requires each consumer reporting agency that issues these consumer reports to:

1. notify the consumer who is the subject of the report that it is reporting criminal matters of public record, and specify the name and address of the person receiving it;

2. access the conviction information available to the public on the Judicial Department's website to verify, as of the date the report is issued, the accuracy of any criminal matters of public record contained in the report; and

3. maintain procedures to ensure that any criminal matter of public record reported is complete and up-to-date as of the date the consumer report is issued.

36 – VIOLATION OF CONDITIONS OF PROBATION

By law, the issuance of an arrest warrant or a notice to appear for a violation of probation interrupts the probationer's sentence until a court makes a final determination concerning the violation. Under current law, the court may impose any conditions of release it may impose for any one who has been arrested for a crime (e. g. , bail). The bill instead requires the probationer to comply with any conditions already imposed unless the court orders otherwise.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Background

Conditions for Releasing Someone on Bail. By law, the Superior Court must, in bailable offenses, promptly order an arrestee's release upon the first of the following conditions of release found sufficient to reasonably assure his or her appearance in court upon his or her execution of a:

1. written promise to appear without special conditions,

2. written promise to appear with non-financial conditions,

3. bond without surety in no greater amount than necessary, or

4. bond with surety in no greater amount than necessary.

In addition to or in conjunction with any of these conditions the court may, when it has reason to believe that the person is drug-dependent and that it is necessary, reasonable, and appropriate, order the person to submit to a urinalysis drug test and to participate in a program of periodic drug testing and treatment.

The court may, in determining what conditions of release will reasonably assure the appearance of the arrested person in court, consider the nature and circumstances of the offense and the person's:

1. record of previous convictions,

2. past record of appearance in court after being admitted to bail,

3. family ties,

4. employment record, and

5. financial resources, character, mental condition, and community ties.

For people charged with certain serious crimes (see 25) it may also consider :

1. the number and seriousness of pending charges, the weight of the evidence against the arrestee, and whether he or she has previously been convicted of similar offenses while released on bond; and

2. the arrestee's history of violence and, based on the arrestee's expressed intention, the likelihood that he or she will commit another crime while released.

37 – RISK ASSESSMENT STRATEGY

The bill requires DOC, BOPP, and CSSD to develop a risk assessment strategy for offenders in DOC custody that will:

1. use a risk assessment tool that accurately rates an offender's likelihood to recidivate after release from custody and

2. identify support groups that will best position the offender for successful reentry into the community.

The strategy must use static and dynamic factors. The agencies can partner with an educational institution in the state that has expertise in criminal justice and psychiatry to evaluate risk assessment tools and customize one to best meet the state's needs. Annually, beginning January 1, 2009, they must report to the governor and Judiciary Committee on the strategy's development, implementation, and effectiveness.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

38 – CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY ADVISORY COMMISSION

The bill increases the responsibilities of the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission. The commission, which has 16 members representing state and local governments, the Judicial Branch, prosecutors and public defenders, service providers, and the public, is chaired by the OPM undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning. Its current responsibilities are: (1) developing and recommending policies to prevent prison overcrowding, (2) examining the impact of statutes and administrative policies on overcrowding and making this information available to criminal justice agencies and legislators, (4) advising the division's undersecretary on policies and procedures to promote more effective and cohesive criminal and juvenile justice systems and to develop and implement the offender reentry strategy required by law, and (5) assisting the undersecretary in developing recommendations for mandated status reports and presentations on the reentry strategy for legislative committees.

The bill adds the following responsibilities:

1. monitoring developments throughout the state's criminal justice system;

2. by February 15, 2009 and annually thereafter, reporting to the legislature and governor on (a) the state's reentry strategy's effectiveness and outcomes, (b) the level of integration and coordination of the information technology systems criminal justice agencies use, and (c) other system-wide issues the commission identifies;

3. by the same date, and with the OPM undersecretary serving as facilitator, sponsoring annual, day-long reviews of the state's criminal justice system for the criminal justice community, including reports on progress made during the prior year and challenges to be met;

4. identifying specific reentry service needs in geographic areas throughout the state;

5. identifying institution- and community-based programs and services that effectively address offenders' needs and reduce recidivism, including education and training, employment preparation and job banks, and transitional health care, family support, substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual offender programs and services;

6. developing a guide to reentry service best practices; and

7. developing and annually updating a plan to ensure that reentry services are available, which may include establishing community reentry services.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

39 & 43 – CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM GOVERNING BOARD

By law, the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Governing Board, within OPM for administrative purposes only, is charged with overseeing the operations and administration of the state's offender-based tracking system and recommending legislation needed to implement, operate, and maintain the system.

The bill increases the board's membership from 11 to 15 by adding the Judiciary Committee chairpersons and ranking members. The current members are the chief court administrator, who serves as chairperson; agency commissioners with law enforcement, homeland security, correction, and motor vehicle responsibilities; the BOPP chairperson; the OPM secretary; the chief state's attorney and public defender; Department of Information Technology's (DOIT) chief information officer; the victim advocate; and Connecticut Police Chiefs Association president, or their designees. The bill makes the chief court administrator co-chairperson and authorizes the governor to appoint the other co-chairperson from among the board's members.

The bill also directs the Board to hire an executive director. Qualified candidates must have education, training, or experience to oversee the design and implementation of the comprehensive, state-wide information technology system required by 40 of the bill (see below). The executive director is not a member of the board and serves at its pleasure. OPM must provide the executive director office space and necessary staff, supplies, and services.

The bill appropriates $ 250,000 to OPM to cover costs related to the Board.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Background – Offender-Based Tracking System

By law, the offender-based tracking system is an information system that allows criminal justice agencies to share criminal history record information and to access electronically maintained offender and case data involving felonies, misdemeanors, violations, certain motor vehicle violations and offenses, and infractions.

40 & 43 – CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM

The bill directs the CJIS Governing Board to design and implement a comprehensive, statewide information technology system. Its purpose is to facilitate immediate, seamless, and comprehensive information sharing among all of the following:

1. state agencies, departments, and boards and commissions that have cognizance over law enforcement and criminal justice matters;

2. local police departments; and

3. law enforcement officials.

System Requirements

The system must include a centralized tracking and information database, electronic documentary repository, analytical tools, and other components or elements the board determines are appropriate or necessary under its design and implementation plan. The system must be developed with state-of-the-art technology.

Tracking and Information Database

The central, integrated tracking and information database must provide:

1. complete biographical information and vital statistics for all living offenders and former offenders and

2. tracking information for all offenders in the criminal justice system, from investigation through incarceration and release, and seamless integration with electronic monitoring systems, global positioning systems, and offender registries.

Electronic Records Repository

The central, integrated electronic repository of criminal justice records and documents must provide access to:

1. state and local police reports, presentence investigations and reports, psychological and medical reports, criminal records, incarceration and parole records, and court records and transcripts, whether the records and documents normally exist in electronic or hard copy form and

2. scanning and processing facilities to ensure that records and documents are integrated into the system and updated immediately.

Centralized Analytical Tools

The centralized, analytical tools must be bundled together in a custom-designed enterprise system that includes:

1. tools that empower and enhance criminal case assessment, sentencing, and plea bargain analysis and pardon, parole, probation, and release decisions;

2. tools that empower and enhance forecasting concerning recidivism and future offenses for each individual offender; and

3. collaborative functionality that enables seamless cross-department communication, information exchange, central note-taking, and comment capabilities for each offender.

State-of-the-Art Technology

The bill directs that the system be developed with state-of-the-art relational database technology and other appropriate software applications and hardware. The system must be:

1. completely Internet-accessible by all authorized criminal justice officials;

2. completely integrated with information systems and database applications used by state and local police, law enforcement agencies, and other agencies and organizations the governing board deems necessary and appropriate;

3. indexed and cross-referenced by offender name, residence, community, criminal offense, and any other data points necessary for the effective administration of the state's criminal justice system;

4. fully text searchable for all records;

5. secure and protected by high-level security and controls;

6. accessible to the public, subject to appropriate privacy protections and controls; and

7. monitored and administered by the CJIS Governing Board, with the assistance of the DOIT.

Private, third-party vendors may provide and service major hardware and software.

By July 1, 2008, the bill directs the Governing Board to (1) issue a request for proposals for the system's design and implementation and (2) hire a consultant to develop a design and implementation plan. The bill appropriates $ 2 million to OPM for the design and implementation of the system.

The board must submit status reports starting by July 1, 2008, and continuing each January and July 1st thereafter to the Judiciary and Appropriations committees. It must make a presentation to these committees in conjunction with each January's report and make additional presentations during the ensuing regular legislative session concerning the status of the system's design and implementation along with a specific itemization of any additional resources that are needed.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

41 – DIVERSION PROGRAM FOR OFFENDERS WITH PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES

The bill creates a supervised diversionary program for people with psychiatric disabilities, which it defines as a mental or emotional condition, other than solely substance abuse, that (1) has substantial adverse effects on the defendant's ability to function and (2) requires care and treatment. People with these conditions who have been accused of less serious crimes or motor vehicle violations that carry prison sentences are eligible unless they (1) are ineligible for accelerated rehabilitation due to the nature of the charges or previous participation in other diversionary programs or (2) have participated in the program twice before. The bill bars courts from making the accused's file available to the public when he or she files an application to participate in the program and states under oath in open court or in front of someone the clerk designates that he or she has not participated in the program more than once. Court personnel must notify victims by registered or certified mail that the accused has applied for the program and that they have an opportunity to be heard by the court on the matter.

The court must refer applicants to CSSD for confirmation of eligibility and an assessment of his or her mental condition. The prosecutor must give CSSD a copy of the police report to assist in its assessment. CSSD must develop individualized treatment plans for applicants whom it determines are amenable to treatment if appropriate services are available.

If the court approves the application, it must refer the accused to CSSD, and the division, in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), must place him or her in a program that provides appropriate community supervision, treatment, and services. The bill directs CSSD and DMHAS to develop standards and oversee appropriate treatment programs. They may contract with service providers to provide the programs.

Program participants must be supervised by a probation officer with a reduced caseload and specialized training in working with people with psychiatric disabilities. They must agree to (1) toll the statute of limitations for the crime or violation; (2) waive their speedy trial rights; and (3) any participation conditions CSSD establishes, including participating in program meetings or sessions. The bill directs CSSD to establish policies and procedures for requiring its employees to notify victims of (1) court-ordered participation conditions that directly affect the victim and (2) scheduled court appearances.

If the accused satisfactorily completes the program, he or she may apply for dismissal of the charges. CSSD must provide the court with information about the person's participation; the court must dismiss the charges if it finds that he or she satisfactorily completed the program. If a participant does not apply for a dismissal, the bill authorizes the court to dismiss the charges on its own motion if it finds satisfactory program completion. After dismissal, all records of the charges are erased, except for those in CSSD's database as described below. Program participants whose applications for dismissal are denied can appeal that determination.

If CSSD informs the court that an applicant is ineligible to participate in the diversionary program and the court makes an ineligibility determination on this basis, or if the division certifies with the court that a person admitted to the program did not successfully complete it, the bill directs the court to (1) order the record to be unsealed, (2) enter a not guilty plea for the accused, and (3) immediately put the case on the trial list.

The bill directs CSSD to develop and maintain a database concerning people admitted to the diversionary program that state and local police can gain access to when responding to incidents involving them. The information must include the person's name, date of birth, Social Security number, the crime or motor vehicle violation he or she was charged with and whether a deadly weapon or dangerous weapon was involved, and the dates he or she participated in the program. CSSD must enter this information in the database when the person enters the program, update it when necessary, and retain it for five years.

The bill also requires CSSD to keep the (1) police report concerning the incident that gave rise to a diversionary program participant's application and (2) record of his or her supervision, including dates. It must provide this information to the court, prosecutor, and defense attorney whenever a participant applies for the program a second time.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2008

42– FUNDING REALLOCATIONS FOR FY 08

The bill transfers funds appropriated for FY 08 to the Comptroller's fringe benefit account for the Higher Education Alternative Retirement System to various agencies for the purposes as shown in Table 1. It also carries specified unspent balances from FY 08 forward to FY 09 for the same purposes.

Table 2: FY 08 Appropriations for Higher Education Alternative Retirement System Reallocated and Carried Forward

Amount

Transferred To

Carry

forward to

FY 09

Agency

For

42 (a)

$ 430,943

Board of Pardons & Parole

Personal Services: $ 215,929

 

Other expenses: $ 154,514

Equipment: $ 60,500

42(b)

845,000

Correction

Other expenses: $ 125,000

Unspent balance of for $ 495,000 for community support services

Community support services: $ 495,000

Community support services for a contract with a nonprofit organization for reentry and diversionary services in the Bridgeport area: $ 225,000

42

530,875

Judicial

Personal Services: $ 27,500

Unspent balance of $ 495,000 for Alternative Incarceration Program

Other Expenses: $ 1,375

Equipment: $ 7,000

Alternative Incarceration Program: $ 495,000

42 (d) (1)

100,000

Office of Policy & Management

Other expenses – for costs related to the Criminal Justice Information System Governing Board ( 39)

Unspent balance

42 (e)

62,805

Office of State Comptroller – Fringe Benefits

State Employees Health Services Cost

 

43 – APPROPRIATIONS

The bill carries forward up to $ 16,656,951 in unspent FY 08 appropriations to the Office of Policy and Management for payments in lieu of taxes for New Manufacturing and Equipment to FY 09 and transfers the money to the purposes shown in Table 2 for FY 09. It carries forward specified funds to FY 10.

Table 3: FY 09 Funds Reallocated and Carried Forward to FY 10

Transferred To

Carry forward to FY 10

Agency

For

43 (1)

Board of Pardons & Parole

Personal Services: $ 1,027,898

 

Other Expenses: $ 827,084

Equipment: $ 32,250

43 (2)

Correction

Other Expenses: $ 125,000

 

Community Support Services: $ 4,280,000

Community Support Services for a contract with a nonprofit organization for reentry and diversionary services in the Bridgeport area: $ 725,000

43 (3)

Judicial

Personal Services: $ 403,538

 

Other Expenses: $ 770,178

Equipment: $ 28,000

Alternative Incarceration Program: $ 4,892,360

Alternative Incarceration Program for a contract with nonprofit organizations for reentry and diversionary services in the Harford and New Haven areas: $ 1,000,000

43 (4)

Comptroller- Fringe Benefits

State Employee Health Service Cost: $ 352,135

 
   

State Employees Retirement Contributions: $ 352,135

 

43 (5)

Office of Policy & Management

Other Expenses for designing and implementing a comprehensive, statewide information technology system for sharing criminal justice information, ( 40): $ 2,000,000

 

Costs related to the Criminal Justice Information System Governing Board ( 39): $ 250,000

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

44 – REPEAL OF PAROLE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCEDURE

The bill eliminates the parole administrative review procedure. Under current law, an inmate can be released after an administrative review if (1) a board employee reviews the inmate's case and recommends parole and (2) at least two members of a board panel approve. Current law requires a hearing if the chairman deems it necessary or a victim requests one.

Under current law, only those who are eligible for parole after serving 50% of their sentence (generally those who committed non-violent crimes) can be released on parole without a hearing under this procedure. Those who committed crimes where the underlying facts and circumstances of the offense involve the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person cannot use this procedure.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2008