OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

sHB-6581

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONNECTICUT SENTENCING COMMISSION REGARDING LENGTHY SENTENCES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED BY A CHILD OR YOUTH.

As Amended by House "A" (LCO 7431), House "B" (LCO 7459)

House Calendar No.: 473


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 14 $

FY 15 $

Correction, Dept.

GF - Savings

See Below

See Below

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill is anticipated to result in a savings to the Department of Correction by retroactively eliminating life sentences without parole and expanding parole eligibility for inmates convicted for a crime committed when they were under the age of 18 and sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. To the extent that more inmates are granted parole or released, the agency will shift costs from incarceration to supervision in the community. On average, it saves approximately $30,000 per inmate annually to supervise an inmate under parole instead of incarcerating them. There are currently approximately 200 inmates who meet the criteria of this bill.

In addition, the bill requires a parole hearing for inmates who meet the eligibility requirement, and a counsel to be appointed by the Office of the Chief Public Defender for indigent clients. It is anticipated that the Public Defender Services will be able to comply with this provision without additional resources.

The bill requires the court to consider certain factors when sentencing a juvenile and requires the Judicial Department Court Support Services Division (CSSD) to create reference materials on adolescent psychology and brain development to assist courts at sentencing. It is anticipated that CSSD can do so with current resources and does not result in a fiscal impact.

The bill also makes changes to sentencing statutes for juveniles. As the changes are current practice based on case law, there is no fiscal impact from these changes.

House “A” changes the parole eligibility from 50% or 10 years to 60% or 12 years for certain offenders and reduces savings in the underlying bill. In addition the amendment makes changes to juvenile sentencing that do not result in a fiscal impact.

House “B” changes parole eligibility for inmates sentenced between 50 and 60 years to 30 years, instead of 60% of their sentence and results in savings to the Department of Correction.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

Sources:

Department of Correction Current Population Database