PA 07-217—HB 7409

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE REVISOR'S TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO THE GENERAL STATUTES, EXPANDING THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SENTENCING TASK FORCE AND REVISING CERTAIN REPORTING DEADLINES

SUMMARY: This act repeals 14 of PA 07-143 that (1) permits a court to order the same conditions on people sentenced to special parole that it currently imposes as conditions of probation or conditional discharge, (2) requires the court to have a copy of the order delivered to the defendant and the Department of Correction (DOC), and (3) allows the Board of Pardons and Paroles to require the person to comply with conditions that the court could have imposed that are not inconsistent with any the court imposed.

Instead, this act (1) permits a court to recommend that someone sentenced to special parole comply with any or all of the requirements that could be imposed as conditions for probation or conditional discharge, (2) requires the court to have a copy of the recommendation delivered to the defendant and DOC, and (3) permits the Board of Pardons and Paroles to require the person to comply with the recommendations ( 196).

By law, a court can suspend a portion of a prison sentence and order the defendant to spend it on probation or special parole (parole ordered by the court as part of the sentence). Anyone on special parole is subject to the rules and conditions of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The act adds four members to the Connecticut Sentencing Task Force, which is charged with reviewing the state's criminal justice and sentencing policies and laws to create a more just, effective, and efficient system of sentencing. The new members are the chief state's attorney or his designee, the chief public defender or her designee, DOC's director of parole and community services, and a representative of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. ( 195). This brings the task force membership to 32 members.

The act extends the deadline, from January 1 to February 15, for five reporting requirements for the Office of Policy and Management's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division. This applies to:

1. biennial updates to the plan to promote a more effective and cohesive state criminal justice system;

2. annual reports on the corrections population;

3. annual reports on outcomes for major programs;

4. annual reports on the success of the reentry strategy (the comprehensive plan to provide a continuum of custody, care, and control of offenders who are supervised in the community); and

5. annual reports and presentations to the Appropriations and Judiciary committees on the division's activities, recommendations, and actions to promote an effective and cohesive criminal justice system (It also delays, until February 15, 2008 instead of January 1, 2008, the requirement that this report and presentation include an assessment of the reentry strategy. ) ( 197- 201).

The act makes numerous technical changes to the statutes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage except the provision on special parole takes effect October 1, 2007 ( 196).

BACKGROUND

Sentencing Task Force

The Sentencing Task Force's other members are:

1. the Judiciary Committee's chairmen and ranking members;

2. two Superior Court judges, appointed by the chief court administrator, who each have been on the bench at least 10 years and have presided over cases in the judicial district criminal court for at least five years;

3. two state's attorneys, appointed by the chief state's attorney, who each have at least 10 years experience as a prosecuting attorney and at least five years prosecuting cases in judicial district criminal courts;

4. two public defenders, appointed by the chief public defender, who each have at least 10 years experience as a public defender and at least five years representing defendants in judicial district criminal courts;

5. two criminal defense lawyers with at least 15 years experience each representing defendants in criminal cases, with one appointed by the Connecticut Bar Association's criminal justice section and the other appointed by the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association;

6. the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division executive director or his designee;

7. the DOC commissioner or her designee;

8. the Board of Pardons and Paroles chairman or his designee;

9. the mental health and addiction services commissioner or his designee;

10. the victim advocate or his designee;

11. the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division undersecretary;

12. an assistant attorney general appointed by the attorney general;

13. three municipal police chiefs appointed by the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, one from an urban area, one from a suburban area, and one from a rural area; and

14. six legislators with one appointed by each of the top six legislative leaders.

OLR Tracking: CR: SC: PF: TS