OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS
Legislative Office Building, Room 5200
Hartford, CT 06106 ¯ (860) 240-0200
AN ACT CONCERNING CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM.
LCO No.: 10085
OFA Fiscal Note
The amendment establishes a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment for any person who is convicted of a specified crime after having been twice convicted and imprisoned for committing or attempting to commit similar crimes, with sentence review eligibility after 30 years of the sentence has been served.
Based on a previous analysis of a wider but similar list of crimes1 than those contained in this amendment, over the past 5 years, of all inmates released from a correctional facility, 103 inmates per year had been convicted of the specified crimes and had two prior convictions for a dangerous felony. It is unknown how many of the 103 inmates released annually would have qualified under the specified crimes contained in the amendment, but it is anticipated that most would have.
On average, these 103 offenders received a prison sentence of 8 years. The fiscal impact of the new policy would not occur until approximately 8 years after adoption, when the original inmates incarcerated under the bill would have been eligible for release. It is anticipated that on average (after the initial 8 years) the offender population will continue to grow at an estimated rate of up to 103 additional inmates per year, for up to 52 years, for a total of 5, 356 additional inmates at the end of that time. This number could be reduced depending on the number of sentence reviews that result in a reduced sentence.2 Each 103 additional offenders would cost approximately $4.28 million annually, over the increased length of sentence.3
Note: there are individuals contained in the 103 figure above that would not be included in the above projection. Such individuals are unidentifiable based on the bill's definitions and available data. The exclusion of these individuals would decrease those subject to the bill's provisions and would also decrease the costs, the extent of which cannot be determined at this time.
These costs do not include additional facility space requirements. A new 1, 000 bed high security prison facility costs approximately $110 million for construction.
It is likely that the number of felony trials would increase under the amendment. The magnitude of any such increase is uncertain, however, depending upon the use of plea (or charge) bargaining. Any substantial increase would result in a significant4 annual state cost to add personnel to the Division of Criminal Justice and/or the Public Defender Services Commission, and to cover various litigation expenses, including expert witness fees. Note that the addition of one attorney with either the Public Defender Services Commission or the Division of Criminal Justice yields a state cost of more than $100, 000 to include salary, expenses and fringe benefits.5
The preceding Fiscal Impact statement is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for the purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.
1 The previous analysis included the crimes of murder (other than a capitol felony) and stealing a firearm, it did not include home invasion (which is included) .
2 The average additional inmates per year does not take into account plea-bargaining changes, offenders living the entire 60 year period, or offenders who would qualify based on offenses committed in other jurisdictions.
3 103 offenders * $41, 600 (average cost of incarceration) .
4 OFA defines “significant” as any cost exceeding $100, 000.
5 Starting salary = $61, 899 + fringe benefits equal to 60% of salary ($37, 139) + expenses ($3, 095) = $102, 133.