OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS
Legislative Office Building, Room 5200
Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200
AN ACT CONCERNING IDENTITY THEFT.
LCO No.: 3954
File Copy No.: 436
Senate Calendar No.: 265
OFA Fiscal Note
The amendment changes the sentencing requirements for persistent dangerous felony offenders (standing convicted of their third strikeable offense) , from a term of imprisonment of not more than life, to life imprisonment without the possibility of release.
The amendment allows a prosecutor to charge an offender as a persistent dangerous felony offender punishable by life imprisonment without the possibility of release, but also allows the prosecutor not to charge the offender as a persistent dangerous felony offender, as long as the prosecutor explains the reasoning in open court. There is no fiscal impact to require prosecutors to state in open court the reason for not charging an eligible defendant as a persistent dangerous felony offender.
The number of additional defendants who could be subject to sentence enhancement each year under the amendment is estimated to be approximately 16. Under existing sentencing practices, a majority of defendants eligible for a life sentence as persistent dangerous felony offenders actually receive sentences of 5-15 years.1 The annual cost of incarcerating the 16 offenders would be approximately $700, 000.2
The Division of Criminal Justice and Public Defender Services Commission would need more staff to handle the estimated increase in trials (and subsequent appeals/habeas proceedings) under the amendment. It is anticipated that five additional positions would need to be added to these agencies. The annual cost of these positions, including salaries, fringe benefits, and expenses, is estimated to be $602, 000.
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 Two hundred sixty five inmates currently meet the criteria to be designated as persistent dangerous felony offenders; approximately 60%, or 158, of these offenders are sentenced to prison terms of 5-15 years. The annual number of cases involving these offenders is estimated to be 15.8 = 158/10 years.
2 The annual cost of incarceration for one offender is $44, 165.