Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 7049

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 5752

 

*05752_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING PRETRIAL DIVERSIONARY PROGRAMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (c) of section 54-56e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(c) This section shall not be applicable: (1) To any person charged with a class A felony, a class B felony, except (A) a violation of subdivision (1), (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of section 53a-122 that does not involve the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a violation of subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 53a-122 that does not involve the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person and does not involve a violation by a person who is a public official, as defined in section 1-110, or (C) a state or municipal employee, as defined in section 1-110, or a violation of section 14-227a, subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53-21, section 53a-56b, 53a-60d, 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, except as provided in subdivision (5) of this subsection, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-90a, 53a-196e or 53a-196f, (2) to any person charged with a crime or motor vehicle violation who, as a result of the commission of such crime or motor vehicle violation, causes the death of another person, (3) to any person accused of a family violence crime as defined in section 46b-38a who (A) is eligible for the pretrial family violence education program established under section 46b-38c, or (B) has previously had the pretrial family violence education program invoked in such person's behalf, (4) to any person charged with a violation of section 21a-267 or 21a-279 who (A) is eligible for the pretrial drug education and community service program established under section 54-56i, as amended by this act, or (B) has previously had the pretrial drug education program or the pretrial drug education and community service program invoked on such person's behalf, (5) unless good cause is shown, to (A) any person charged with a class C felony, or (B) any person charged with committing a violation of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53a-71 while such person was less than four years older than the other person, (6) to any person charged with a violation of section 9-359 or 9-359a, (7) to any person charged with a motor vehicle violation (A) while operating a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, or (B) who holds a commercial driver's license or commercial driver's instruction permit at the time of the violation, [or] (8) any person charged with a violation of subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 53a-60, or (9) a health care provider or vendor participating in the state's Medicaid program charged with a violation of section 53a-122 or subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 53a-123.

Sec. 2. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 54-56g of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) (1) There shall be a pretrial alcohol education program for persons charged with a violation of section 14-227a, 14-227g, [15-132a,] 15-133, [15-140l] or 15-140n. Upon application by any such person for participation in such program and payment to the court of an application fee of one hundred dollars and a nonrefundable evaluation fee of one hundred dollars, the court shall, but only as to the public, order the court file sealed, provided such person states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under penalties of perjury that: (A) If such person is charged with a violation of section 14-227a, 14-227g, subsection (d) of section 15-133 or section 15-140n, such person has not had such program invoked in such person's behalf within the preceding ten years for a violation of section 14-227a, 14-227g, subsection (d) of section 15-133 or section 15-140n, (B) [if such person is charged with a violation of section 14-227g, such person has never had such program invoked in such person's behalf for a violation of section 14-227a or 14-227g, (C)] such person has not been convicted of a violation of section 53a-56b or 53a-60d, a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a before, on or after October 1, 1981, [or] a violation of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 14-227a on or after October 1, 1985, or a violation of section 14-227g, (C) such person has not been convicted of a violation of section 15-132a, subsection (d) of section 15-133, section 15-140l or section 15-140n, (D) such person has not been convicted in any other state at any time of an offense the essential elements of which are substantially the same as section 53a-56b, [or] 53a-60d, 15-132a, 15-140l or 15-140n or subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 14-227a or subsection (d) of section 15-133, and (E) notice has been given by such person, by registered or certified mail on a form approved by rule of court, to each victim who sustained a serious physical injury, as defined in section 53a-3, which was caused by such person's alleged violation, that such person has applied to participate in the pretrial alcohol education program and that such victim has an opportunity to be heard by the court on the application.

(2) The court shall provide each such victim who sustained a serious physical injury an opportunity to be heard prior to granting an application under this section. Unless good cause is shown, a person shall be ineligible for participation in such pretrial alcohol education program if such person's alleged violation of section 14-227a or 14-227g or subsection (d) of section 15-133 caused the serious physical injury, as defined in section 53a-3, of another person.

(3) The application fee imposed under this subsection shall be credited to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund established under section 54-215. The evaluation fee imposed under this subsection shall be credited to the pretrial account established under section 54-56k.

(b) The court, after consideration of the recommendation of the state's attorney, assistant state's attorney or deputy assistant state's attorney in charge of the case, may, in its discretion, grant such application. If the court grants such application, the court shall refer such person to the Court Support Services Division for assessment and confirmation of the eligibility of the applicant and to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for evaluation. The Court Support Services Division, in making its assessment and confirmation, may rely on the representations made by the applicant under oath in open court with respect to convictions in other states of offenses specified in subsection (a) of this section. Upon confirmation of eligibility and receipt of the evaluation report, the defendant shall be referred to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services by the Court Support Services Division for placement in an appropriate alcohol intervention program for one year, or be placed in a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program. The alcohol intervention program shall include a ten-session intervention program and a fifteen-session intervention program. Any person who enters the pretrial alcohol education program shall agree: (1) To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime, (2) to a waiver of such person's right to a speedy trial, (3) to complete ten or fifteen counseling sessions in an alcohol intervention program or successfully complete a substance abuse treatment program of not less than twelve sessions pursuant to this section dependent upon the evaluation report and the court order, (4) to commence participation in an alcohol intervention program or substance abuse treatment program not later than ninety days after the date of entry of the court order unless granted a delayed entry into a program by the court, (5) upon completion of participation in the alcohol intervention program, to accept placement in a substance abuse treatment program upon the recommendation of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services pursuant to subsection (f) of this section or placement in a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program which meets standards established by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, if the Court Support Services Division deems it appropriate, and (6) if ordered by the court, to participate in at least one victim impact panel. The suspension of the motor vehicle operator's license of any such person pursuant to section 14-227b shall be effective during the period such person is participating in the pretrial alcohol education program, provided such person shall have the option of not commencing the participation in such program until the period of such suspension is completed. If the Court Support Services Division informs the court that the defendant is ineligible for such program and the court makes a determination of ineligibility or if the program provider certifies to the court that the defendant did not successfully complete the assigned program or is no longer amenable to treatment and such person does not request, or the court denies, program reinstatement under subsection (e) of this section, the court shall order the court file to be unsealed, enter a plea of not guilty for such defendant and immediately place the case on the trial list. If such defendant satisfactorily completes the assigned program, such defendant may apply for dismissal of the charges against such defendant and the court, on reviewing the record of the defendant's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If the defendant does not apply for dismissal of the charges against such defendant after satisfactorily completing the assigned program the court, upon receipt of the record of the defendant's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss the charges. Upon motion of the defendant and a showing of good cause, the court may extend the one-year placement period for a reasonable period for the defendant to complete the assigned program. A record of participation in such program shall be retained by the Court Support Services Division for a period of ten years from the date the court grants the application for participation in such program. The Court Support Services Division shall transmit to the Department of Motor Vehicles a record of participation in such program for each person who satisfactorily completes such program. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall maintain for a period of ten years the record of a person's participation in such program as part of such person's driving record. The Court Support Services Division shall transmit to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection the record of participation of any person who satisfactorily completes such program who has been charged with a violation of the provisions of [section 15-132a, 15-133, 15-140l or] subsection (d) of section 15-133 or section 15-140n. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall maintain for a period of ten years the record of a person's participation in such program as a part of such person's boater certification record.

Sec. 3. Section 54-56i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) There is established a pretrial drug education and community service program for persons charged with a violation of section 21a-267, 21a-279 or 21a-279a. The pretrial drug education and community service program shall include a [fifteen-week] fifteen-session drug education program and a substance abuse treatment program of not less than fifteen sessions, and the performance of community service.

(b) Upon application by any such person for participation in such program and payment to the court of an application fee of one hundred dollars and a nonrefundable evaluation fee of one hundred fifty dollars, the court shall, but only as to the public, order the court file sealed. A person shall be ineligible for participation in such pretrial drug education and community service program if such person has twice previously participated in (1) the pretrial drug education program established under the provisions of this section in effect prior to October 1, 2013, (2) the community service labor program established under section 53a-39c, (3) the pretrial drug education and community service program established under this section, or (4) any of such programs, except that the court may allow a person who has twice previously participated in such programs to participate in the pretrial drug education and community service program one additional time, for good cause shown. The evaluation and application fee imposed under this subsection shall be credited to the pretrial account established under section 54-56k.

(c) The court, after consideration of the recommendation of the state's attorney, assistant state's attorney or deputy assistant state's attorney in charge of the case, may, in its discretion, grant such application. If the court grants such application, the court shall refer such person (1) to the Court Support Services Division for confirmation of the eligibility of the applicant, (2) to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for evaluation and determination of an appropriate drug education or substance abuse treatment program for the first or second time such application is granted, and (3) to a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program for evaluation and determination of an appropriate substance abuse treatment program for the third time such application is granted, except that, if such person is a veteran, the court may refer such person to the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, as applicable, for any such evaluation and determination. For the purposes of this subsection and subsection (d) of this section, "veteran" means any person who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable from active service in the armed forces as defined in section 27-103.

(d) (1) (A) Upon confirmation of eligibility and receipt of the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section, such person shall be placed in the pretrial drug education and community service program and referred by the Court Support Services Division for the purpose of receiving appropriate drug education services or substance abuse treatment program services, as recommended by the evaluation conducted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and ordered by the court, to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or to a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program for placement in the appropriate drug education or substance abuse treatment program, except that, if such person is a veteran, the division may refer such person to the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, subject to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(B) Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the first time shall participate in either a [fifteen-week] fifteen-session drug education program or a substance abuse treatment program of not less than fifteen sessions, as ordered by the court on the basis of the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the second time shall participate in either a [fifteen-week] fifteen-session drug education program or a substance abuse treatment program of not less than fifteen sessions, as ordered by the court based on the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for a third time shall be referred to a state-licensed substance abuse program for evaluation and participation in a course of treatment as ordered by the court based on the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section.

(C) Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program shall also participate in a community service program administered by the Court Support Services Division pursuant to section 53a-39c. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the first time shall participate in the community service program for a period of five days. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the second time shall participate in the community service program for a period of fifteen days. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for a third or additional time shall participate in the community service program for a period of thirty days.

(D) Placement in the pretrial drug education and community service program pursuant to this section shall not exceed one year. Persons receiving substance abuse treatment program services in accordance with the provisions of this section shall only receive such services at state-licensed substance abuse treatment program facilities that are in compliance with all state standards governing the operation of such facilities, except that, if such person is a veteran, such person may receive services from facilities under the supervision of the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, subject to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(E) Any person who enters the pretrial drug education and community service program shall agree: (i) To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime; (ii) to a waiver of such person's right to a speedy trial; (iii) to complete participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program, as ordered by the court; (iv) to commence participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program not later than ninety days after the date of entry of the court order unless granted a delayed entry into the program by the court; and (v) upon completion of participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program, to accept (I) placement in a treatment program upon the recommendation of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or a provider under the supervision of the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or (II) placement in a treatment program that has standards substantially similar to, or higher than, a program of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, if the Court Support Services Division deems it appropriate.

(2) The Court Support Services Division may only refer a veteran to the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for the receipt of services under the program if (A) the division determines that such services will be provided in a timely manner under standards substantially similar to, or higher than, standards for services provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services under the program, and (B) the applicable department agrees to submit timely program participation and completion reports to the division in the manner required by the division.

(e) If the Court Support Services Division informs the court that such person is ineligible for the program and the court makes a determination of ineligibility or if the program provider certifies to the court that such person did not successfully complete the assigned program and such person did not request, or the court denied, reinstatement in the program under subsection (i) of this section, the court shall order the court file to be unsealed, enter a plea of not guilty for such person and immediately place the case on the trial list.

(f) If such person satisfactorily completes the assigned program, such person may apply for dismissal of the charges against such person and the court, on reviewing the record of such person's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If such person does not apply for dismissal of the charges against such person after satisfactorily completing the assigned program, the court, upon receipt of the record of such person's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss the charges. Upon motion of such person and a showing of good cause, the court may extend the placement period for a reasonable period of time to allow such person to complete the assigned program. A record of participation in such program shall be retained by the Court Support Services Division for a period of ten years from the date the court grants the application for participation in the program.

(g) At the time the court grants the application for participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program, any person ordered to participate in [the] such drug education program shall pay to the court a nonrefundable program fee of six hundred dollars. If the court orders participation in a substance abuse treatment program, such person shall pay to the court a nonrefundable program fee of one hundred dollars and shall be responsible for the costs associated with such program. No person may be excluded from any such program for inability to pay such fee or cost, provided (1) such person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, (2) such indigency or inability to pay is confirmed by the Court Support Services Division, and (3) the court enters a finding thereof. The court may waive all or any portion of such fee depending on such person's ability to pay. If the court finds that a person is indigent or unable to pay for a substance abuse treatment program, the costs of such program shall be paid from the pretrial account established under section 54-56k. If the court denies the application, such person shall not be required to pay the program fee. If the court grants the application, and such person is later determined to be ineligible for participation in such pretrial drug education and community service program or fails to complete the assigned program, the program fee shall not be refunded. All program fees shall be credited to the pretrial account established under section 54-56k.

(h) If a person returns to court with certification from a program provider that such person did not successfully complete the assigned program or is no longer amenable to treatment, the provider, to the extent practicable, shall include a recommendation to the court as to whether placement in a drug education program or placement in a substance abuse treatment program would best serve such person's needs. The provider shall also indicate whether the current program referral was an initial referral or a reinstatement to the program.

(i) When a person subsequently requests reinstatement into a drug education program or a substance abuse treatment program and the Court Support Services Division verifies that such person is eligible for reinstatement into such program and thereafter the court favorably acts on such request, any person reinstated into [the] such drug education program shall pay a nonrefundable program fee of two hundred fifty dollars, and any person reinstated into a substance abuse treatment program shall be responsible for the costs, if any, associated with being reinstated into the treatment program. Unless good cause is shown, such program fee shall not be waived. All program fees collected in connection with a reinstatement to a drug education program shall be credited to the pretrial account established under section 54-56k. No person shall be permitted more than two program reinstatements pursuant to this subsection.

(j) The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall develop standards and oversee appropriate drug education programs that it administers to meet the requirements of this section and may contract with service providers to provide such programs. The department shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to establish standards for such drug education programs.

(k) Any person whose employment or residence or schooling makes it unreasonable to attend a drug education program or substance abuse treatment program in this state may attend a program in another state that has standards similar to, or higher than, those of this state, subject to the approval of the court and payment of the program fee or costs as provided in this section.

Sec. 4. Subsection (b) of section 54-56l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(b) A person shall be ineligible to participate in such supervised diversionary program if such person (1) is ineligible to participate in the pretrial program for accelerated rehabilitation under subsection (c) of section 54-56e, as amended by this act, except if a person's ineligibility is based on the person's being eligible for the pretrial family violence education program established under section 46b-38c, the court may permit such person to participate in the supervised diversionary program if it finds that the supervised diversionary program is the more appropriate program under the circumstances of the case, or (2) has twice previously participated in such supervised diversionary program.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2015

54-56e(c)

Sec. 2

October 1, 2015

54-56g(a) and (b)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2015

54-56i

Sec. 4

October 1, 2015

54-56l(b)

Statement of Purpose:

To provide for more appropriate utilization of certain supervised pretrial diversionary programs.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]