Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Governor's Bill No. 952

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 3993

 

*03993__________*

Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY

 

Introduced by:

 

SEN. LOONEY, 11th Dist.

SEN. DUFF, 25th Dist.

REP. SHARKEY, 88th Dist.

REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th Dist.

 

AN ACT CONCERNING A SECOND CHANCE SOCIETY.

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

Section 1. Section 21a-279 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) Any person who possesses or has under his or her control any quantity of any narcotic substance, controlled substance or hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana or who possesses one-half ounce or more of a cannabis-type substance, except as authorized in this chapter, [for a first offense, may be imprisoned not more than seven years or be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars, or be both fined and imprisoned; and for a second offense, may be imprisoned not more than fifteen years or be fined not more than one hundred thousand dollars, or be both fined and imprisoned; and for any subsequent offense, may be imprisoned not more than twenty-five years or be fined not more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars, or be both fined and imprisoned] shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

[(b) Any person who possesses or has under his control any quantity of a hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana or four ounces or more of a cannabis-type substance, except as authorized in this chapter, for a first offense, shall be guilty of a class D felony, and for a subsequent offense shall be guilty of a class C felony.

(c) Any person who possesses or has under his control any quantity of any controlled substance other than a narcotic substance, or a hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana or who possesses or has under his control one-half ounce or more but less than four ounces of a cannabis-type substance, except as authorized in this chapter, (1) for a first offense, may be fined not more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned not more than one year, or be both fined and imprisoned; and (2) for a subsequent offense, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(d) Any person who violates subsection (a), (b) or (c) of this section in or on, or within one thousand five hundred feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school and who is not enrolled as a student in such school or a licensed child day care center, as defined in section 19a-77, that is identified as a child day care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place shall be imprisoned for a term of two years, which shall not be suspended and shall be in addition and consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for violation of subsection (a), (b) or (c) of this section.

(e) As an alternative to the sentences specified in subsections (a) and (b) and specified for a subsequent offense under subsection (c) of this section, the court may sentence the person to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction for an indeterminate term not to exceed three years or the maximum term specified for the offense, whichever is the lesser, and at any time within such indeterminate term and without regard to any other provision of law regarding minimum term of confinement, the Commissioner of Correction may release the convicted person so sentenced subject to such conditions as he may impose including, but not limited to, supervision by suitable authority. At any time during such indeterminate term, the Commissioner of Correction may revoke any such conditional release in his discretion for violation of the conditions imposed and return the convicted person to a correctional institution.]

[(f)] (b) To the extent that it is possible, medical treatment rather than criminal sanctions shall be afforded individuals who breathe, inhale, sniff or drink the volatile substances [defined] described in subdivision (49) of section 21a-240.

[(g)] (c) The provisions of [subsections (a) to (c), inclusive,] subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any person (1) who in good faith, seeks medical assistance for another person who such person reasonably believes is experiencing an overdose from the ingestion, inhalation or injection of intoxicating liquor or any drug or substance, (2) for whom another person, in good faith, seeks medical assistance, reasonably believing such person is experiencing an overdose from the ingestion, inhalation or injection of intoxicating liquor or any drug or substance, or (3) who reasonably believes he or she is experiencing an overdose from the ingestion, inhalation or injection of intoxicating liquor or any drug or substance and, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for himself or herself, if evidence of the possession or control of a controlled substance in violation of subsection (a) [, (b) or (c)] of this section was obtained as a result of the seeking of such medical assistance. For the purposes of this subsection, "good faith" does not include seeking medical assistance during the course of the execution of an arrest warrant or search warrant or a lawful search.

Sec. 2. Subsection (c) of section 7-294d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(c) (1) The council may refuse to renew any certificate if the holder fails to meet the requirements for renewal of his or her certification.

(2) The council may cancel or revoke any certificate if: (A) The certificate was issued by administrative error, (B) the certificate was obtained through misrepresentation or fraud, (C) the holder falsified any document in order to obtain or renew any certificate, (D) the holder has been convicted of a felony, (E) the holder has been found not guilty of a felony by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (F) the holder has been convicted of a violation of [subsection (c) of] section 21a-279, as amended by this act, (G) the holder has been refused issuance of a certificate or similar authorization or has had his or her certificate or other authorization cancelled or revoked by another jurisdiction on grounds which would authorize cancellation or revocation under the provisions of this subdivision, (H) the holder has been found by a law enforcement unit, pursuant to procedures established by such unit, to have used a firearm in an improper manner which resulted in the death or serious physical injury of another person, or (I) the holder has been found by a law enforcement unit, pursuant to procedures established by such unit, to have committed any act that would constitute tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in violation of section 53a-155, perjury in violation of section 53a-156 or false statement in violation of section 53a-157b. Whenever the council believes there is a reasonable basis for cancellation or revocation of the certification of a police officer, police training school or law enforcement instructor, it shall give notice and an adequate opportunity for a hearing prior to such cancellation or revocation. The council may cancel or revoke any certificate if, after a de novo review, it finds by clear and convincing evidence (i) a basis set forth in subparagraphs (A) to (G), inclusive, of this subdivision, or (ii) that the holder of the certificate committed an act set forth in subparagraph (H) or (I) of this subdivision. Any police officer or law enforcement instructor whose certification is cancelled or revoked pursuant to this section may reapply for certification no sooner than two years after the date on which the cancellation or revocation order becomes final. Any police training school whose certification is cancelled or revoked pursuant to this section may reapply for certification at any time after the date on which such order becomes final.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(b) Upon the application of any person having a bona fide permanent residence within the jurisdiction of any such authority, such chief of police, warden or selectman may issue a temporary state permit to such person to carry a pistol or revolver within the state, provided such authority shall find that such applicant intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which such applicant may be permitted to carry under such permit other than a lawful use and that such person is a suitable person to receive such permit. No state or temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall be issued under this subsection if the applicant (1) has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of pistols or revolvers conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association, (2) has been convicted of (A) a felony, or (B) on or after October 1, 1994, a violation of [subsection (c) of] section 21a-279, as amended by this act, or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d, (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (4) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (5) (A) has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (6) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, (7) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing, (8) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4), (9) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States, or (10) is less than twenty-one years of age. Nothing in this section shall require any person who holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver on October 1, 1994, to participate in any additional training in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers. No person may apply for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver more than once within any twelve-month period, and no temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall be issued to any person who has applied for such permit more than once within the preceding twelve months. Any person who applies for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall indicate in writing on the application, under penalty of false statement in such manner as the issuing authority prescribes, that such person has not applied for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver within the past twelve months. Upon issuance of a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver to the applicant, the local authority shall forward the original application to the commissioner. Not later than sixty days after receiving a temporary state permit, an applicant shall appear at a location designated by the commissioner to receive the state permit. The commissioner may then issue, to any holder of any temporary state permit, a state permit to carry a pistol or revolver within the state. Upon issuance of the state permit, the commissioner shall make available to the permit holder a copy of the law regarding the permit holder's responsibility to report the loss or theft of a firearm and the penalties associated with the failure to comply with such law. Upon issuance of the state permit, the commissioner shall forward a record of such permit to the local authority issuing the temporary state permit. The commissioner shall retain records of all applications, whether approved or denied. The copy of the state permit delivered to the permittee shall be laminated and shall contain a full-face photograph of such permittee. A person holding a state permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall notify the issuing authority within two business days of any change of such person's address. The notification shall include the old address and the new address of such person.

Sec. 4. Subsection (b) of section 29-36f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(b) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall issue an eligibility certificate unless said commissioner finds that the applicant: (1) Has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of pistols or revolvers conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association; (2) has been convicted of a felony or of a violation of [subsection (c) of] section 21a-279, as amended by this act, or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d; (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120; (4) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13; (5) (A) has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court; or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (6) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person; (7) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing; (8) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4); or (9) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 29-37p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(b) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall issue a long gun eligibility certificate unless said commissioner finds that the applicant: (1) Has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of firearms including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of firearms available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of firearms conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association; (2) has been convicted of (A) a felony, or (B) on or after October 1, 1994, a violation of [subsection (c) of] section 21a-279, as amended by this act, or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d; (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120; (4) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13; (5) has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court; (6) has been voluntarily admitted to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680; (7) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person; (8) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing; (9) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4); or (10) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 53a-217 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon when such person possesses a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon and (1) has been convicted of a felony committed prior to, on or after October 1, 2013, or of a violation of [subsection (c) of] section 21a-279, as amended by this act, or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d committed on or after October 1, 2013, (2) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (3) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (4) knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person, after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-15a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, (5) (A) has been confined on or after October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or with respect to any person who holds a valid permit or certificate that was issued or renewed under the provisions of section 29-28, as amended by this act, or 29-36f, as amended by this act, in effect prior to October 1, 2013, such person has been confined in such hospital within the preceding twelve months, or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (6) knows that such person is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, or (7) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4). For the purposes of this section, "convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court of competent jurisdiction, "ammunition" means a loaded cartridge, consisting of a primed case, propellant or projectile, designed for use in any firearm, and a motor vehicle violation for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment of more than one year may be imposed shall be deemed an unclassified felony.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 53a-217c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a pistol or revolver when such person possesses a pistol or revolver, as defined in section 29-27, and (1) has been convicted of a felony committed prior to, on or after October 1, 2013, or of a violation of [subsection (c) of] section 21a-279, as amended by this act, or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d committed on or after October 1, 1994, (2) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (3) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (4) (A) has been confined prior to October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding twelve months by order of a probate court, or has been confined on or after October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or, with respect to any person who holds a valid permit or certificate that was issued or renewed under the provisions of section 29-28, as amended by this act, or 29-36f, as amended by this act, in effect prior to October 1, 2013, such person has been confined in such hospital within the preceding twelve months, or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (5) knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person, after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-15a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, (6) knows that such person is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, (7) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4), or (8) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States. For the purposes of this section, "convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Sec. 8. Subsection (b) of section 18-100h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, whenever a person is sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a violation of section 21a-267 or [subsection (c) of section] 21a-279, as amended by this act, and committed by the court to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction, the commissioner may, after admission and a risk and needs assessment, release such person to such person's residence subject to the condition that such person not leave such residence unless otherwise authorized. Based upon the assessment of such person, the commissioner may require such person to be subject to electronic monitoring, which may include the use of a global positioning system and continuous monitoring for alcohol consumption, to drug testing on a random basis, and to any other conditions that the commissioner may impose. Any person released pursuant to this subsection shall remain in the custody of the commissioner and shall be supervised by employees of the department during the period of such release. Upon the violation by such person of any condition of such release, the commissioner may revoke such release and return such person to confinement in a correctional facility. For purposes of this subsection, "continuous monitoring for alcohol consumption" means automatically testing breath, blood or transdermal alcohol concentration levels and tamper attempts at least once every hour regardless of the location of the person being monitored.

Sec. 9. Section 54-124a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective June 30, 2015):

(a) (1) There shall be a Board of Pardons and Paroles within the Department of Correction, for administrative purposes only. [On and after July 1, 2008, and prior to July 1, 2010, the board shall consist of eighteen members, and on and after July 1, 2010, the] On and after July 1, 2015, the board shall consist of [twenty members. The Governor shall appoint all members of the board] ten full-time and up to five part-time members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of both houses of the General Assembly. [On and after July 1, 2008, twelve of the members shall serve exclusively on parole release panels, five of the members shall serve exclusively on pardons panels and the chairperson may serve on both parole release panels and pardons panels, except that on and after July 1, 2010, seven of the members shall serve exclusively on pardons panels.] The term of any part-time member serving on the board on June 30, 2015, shall expire on said date. On or after July 1, 2015, the Governor may appoint up to five persons to serve as part-time members. In the appointment of the members, the Governor shall specify if the member is being appointed as [chairperson, the full-time and part-time members being appointed to serve on parole release panels and the members being appointed to serve on pardons panels] full-time or part-time. In the appointment of the members, the Governor shall comply with the provisions of section 4-9b. The Governor shall appoint a chairperson from among the membership. The members of the board [appointed on or after February 1, 2008,] shall be qualified by education, experience or training in the administration of community corrections, parole or pardons, criminal justice, criminology, the evaluation or supervision of offenders or the provision of mental health services to offenders. Each appointment of a member of the board submitted by the Governor to the General Assembly, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall be referred, without debate, to the [committee on] joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary which shall report [thereon] on each appointment not later than thirty legislative days after the date of reference.

(2) If, not later than September 1, 2015, the Governor appoints a part-time member and such member was previously a member whose term expired June 30, 2015, such appointment shall take effect immediately without action by the General Assembly.

(b) The term of each [appointed member of the board serving on June 30, 2008, who had been assigned by the chairperson exclusively to parole hearings, shall expire on said date. The term of each] member of the board [serving on June 30, 2008, who had been appointed chairperson, had been assigned by the chairperson exclusively to pardons hearings or has been appointed by the Governor on or after February 1, 2008,] shall be coterminous with the term of the Governor or until a successor is chosen, whichever is later. Any vacancy in the membership of the board shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the Governor.

(c) [The chairperson and five of the members of the board appointed by the Governor on or after February 1, 2008, to serve on parole release panels] Ten of the members of the board shall devote full time to the performance of their duties under this section and shall be compensated therefor in such amount as the Commissioner of Administrative Services determines, subject to the provisions of section 4-40. The other members of the board shall receive one hundred ten dollars for each day spent in the performance of their duties and shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of such duties. The chairperson or, in the chairperson's absence or inability to act, a member designated by the chairperson to serve temporarily as chairperson, shall be present at all meetings of the board and participate in all decisions. [thereof.]

(d) The chairperson shall be the executive and administrative head of said board and shall have the authority and responsibility for (1) overseeing all administrative affairs of the board, (2) assigning members to panels, (3) establishing procedural rules for members to follow when conducting hearings, reviewing recommendations made by employees of the board and making decisions, (4) adopting policies in all areas of pardons and paroles including, but not limited to, granting pardons, commutations of punishments or releases, conditioned or absolute, in the case of any person convicted of any offense against the state and commutations from the penalty of death, risk-based structured decision making and release criteria, (5) consulting with the Department of Correction on shared issues including, but not limited to, prison overcrowding, (6) consulting with the Judicial Branch on shared issues of community supervision, and (7) signing and issuing subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses at parole proceedings. Any such subpoena shall be enforceable to the same extent as subpoenas issued pursuant to section 52-143.

(e) [Of the members appointed prior to February 1, 2008, the chairperson shall assign seven members exclusively to parole release hearings and shall assign five members exclusively to pardons hearings. Except for the chairperson, no member assigned to parole release hearings may be assigned subsequently to pardons hearings and no member assigned to pardons hearings may be assigned subsequently to parole release hearings. Prior to July 1, 2008, each parole release panel shall be composed of two members from among the members assigned by the chairperson exclusively to parole release hearings or the members appointed by the Governor on or after February 1, 2008, to serve exclusively on parole release panels, and the chairperson or a member designated to serve temporarily as chairperson, for each correctional institution. On and after July 1, 2008, and prior to October 5, 2009, each parole release panel shall be composed of two members appointed by the Governor on or after February 1, 2008, to serve on parole release panels, at least one of whom is a full-time member, and the chairperson or a full-time member designated to serve temporarily as chairperson, for each correctional institution. On and after October 5, 2009, each] Each parole release panel shall be composed of two members [appointed by the Governor to serve on parole release panels] and the chairperson or a full-time member designated by the chairperson to serve temporarily as chairperson. [, for each correctional institution. Such parole release panels shall be the paroling authority for the institutions to which they are assigned and] On and after January 1, 2016, not less than [two] three members shall be present at each parole hearing. Each pardons panel shall be composed of three members, [from among the members assigned by the chairperson exclusively to pardons hearings or the members appointed by the Governor on or after February 1, 2008, to serve on pardons panels,] one of whom may be the chairperson, except that for hearings on commutations from the penalty of death, one member of the panel shall be the chairperson.

(f) The Board of Pardons and Paroles shall have independent decision-making authority to (1) grant or deny parole in accordance with sections 54-125, 54-125a, as amended by this act, 54-125e and 54-125g, as amended by this act, (2) establish conditions of parole or special parole supervision in accordance with section 54-126, (3) rescind or revoke parole or special parole in accordance with sections 54-127 and 54-128, (4) grant commutations of punishment or releases, conditioned or absolute, in the case of any person convicted of any offense against the state and commutations from the penalty of death in accordance with section 54-130a.

(g) The Department of Correction shall be responsible for the supervision of any person transferred to the jurisdiction of the Board of Pardons and Paroles during such person's period of parole or special parole.

(h) The chairperson, or the chairperson's designee, and two members of the board [from among the members assigned by the chairperson to serve exclusively on parole release panels or the members appointed by the Governor on or after February 1, 2008, to serve on parole release panels,] shall conduct all parole release hearings, and shall approve or deny all (1) parole revocations and parole rescissions recommended by an employee of the board pursuant to section 54-127a, and (2) recommendations for parole pursuant to section 11 of this act. No panel of the Board of Pardons and Paroles shall hold a hearing to determine the suitability for parole release of any person unless the chairperson of the board has made reasonable efforts to determine the existence of and obtain all information deemed pertinent to the panel's decision and has certified that all such pertinent information determined to exist has been obtained or is unavailable.

(i) The chairperson of the board shall appoint an executive director. The executive director shall oversee the administration of the agency and, at the discretion of the chairperson, shall: (1) Direct and supervise all administrative affairs of the board, (2) prepare the budget and annual operation plan, (3) assign staff to administrative reviews, (4) organize pardons and parole release hearing calendars, (5) implement a uniform case filing and processing system, and (6) create programs for staff and board member development, training and education.

(j) The chairperson, in consultation with the executive director, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, concerning:

(1) Parole revocation and rescission hearings that include implementing due process requirements;

(2) An [administrative] expedited pardons [process] review that allows an applicant convicted of a crime to be granted a pardon with respect to such crime without a hearing, unless a victim of such crime requests such a hearing, if such applicant was [:] convicted of a nonviolent crime; and

[(A) Convicted of a misdemeanor and (i) such conduct no longer constitutes a crime, (ii) such applicant was under twenty-one years of age at the time of conviction and has not been convicted of a crime during the five years preceding the date on which the pardon is granted, or (iii) such conviction occurred prior to the effective date of the establishment of a program under sections 17a-692 to 17a-701, inclusive, section 46b-38c, 53a-39a, 53a-39c, 54-56e, 54-56g, 54-56i or 54-56j for which the applicant would have been eligible had such program existed at the time of conviction, provided the chairperson determines the applicant would likely have been granted entry into such program; or

(B) Convicted of a violation of section 21a-277, 21a-278 or 21a-279 and such applicant has not been convicted of a crime during the five years preceding the date on which the pardon is granted, provided such date is at least ten years after the date of such conviction or such applicant's release from incarceration, whichever is later; and]

(3) Requiring board members [assigned to pardons hearings] to issue written statements containing the reasons for rejecting any application for a pardon.

(k) The Board of Pardons and Paroles shall hold a pardons hearing at least once every three months and shall hold such hearings in various geographical areas of the state. The board shall not hold a pardons hearing within or on the grounds of a correctional facility except when solely for the benefit of applicants who are incarcerated at the time of such hearing.

(l) The chairperson and executive director shall establish:

(1) In consultation with the Department of Correction, a parole orientation program for all parole-eligible inmates upon their transfer to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction that will provide general information on the laws and policies regarding parole release, calculation of time-served standards, general conditions of release, supervision practices, revocation and rescission policies, and procedures for administrative review and panel hearings, and any other information that the board deems relevant for preparing inmates for parole;

(2) An incremental sanctions system for parole violations including, but not limited to, reincarceration based on the type, severity and frequency of the violation and specific periods of incarceration for certain types of violations; and

(3) A formal training program for members of the board and parole officers that shall include, but not be limited to, an overview of the criminal justice system, the parole system including factors to be considered in granting parole, victim rights and services, reentry strategies, risk assessment, case management and mental health issues.

(m) The board shall employ at least one psychologist with expertise in risk assessment and recidivism of criminal offenders who shall be under the supervision of the chairperson and assist the board in its parole release decisions.

(n) In the event of the temporary inability of any member other than the chairperson to perform his or her duties, the Governor, at the request of the board, may appoint a qualified person to serve as a temporary member during such period of inability.

(o) The chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Paroles shall: (1) Adopt an annual budget and plan of operation, (2) adopt such rules as deemed necessary for the internal affairs of the board, and (3) submit an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly.

(p) Any decision of the board or a panel of the board shall be made by a majority of those members present.

Sec. 10. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) Not later than January 1, 2016, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, established pursuant to the provisions of section 54-124a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, shall develop a pardon eligibility notice containing written explanatory text of the pardons process set forth in chapter 961 of the general statutes. The board, in conjunction with the Judicial Department and Department of Correction, shall ensure that such notice shall be provided to a person at the time that such person (1) is sentenced pursuant to section 54-92 of the general statutes, (2) is released by the Department of Correction, including any pretrial release pursuant to section 18-100f, (3) has completed or been discharged from a period of parole, and (4) has completed a period of probation or conditional discharge pursuant to section 53a-29 or 53a-33 of the general statutes. The board shall update such notice as deemed necessary by the board.

Sec. 11. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) An inmate (1) not convicted of a crime for which there is a victim, as defined in section 54-201 of the general statutes or section 54-226 of the general statutes, who is known by the Board of Pardons and Paroles, established pursuant to section 54-124a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, (2) whose eligibility for parole release is not subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of section 54-125a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, (3) who was not convicted of a violation of section 53a-55, 53a-55a, 53a-56, 53a-56a, 53a-56b, 53a-57, 53a-58, 53a-59, 53a-60, 53a-60a, 53a-60c, 53a-64aa, 53a-64bb, 53a-59a, 53a-70, 53a-70b, 53a-72b, 53a-92, 53a-92a, 53a-94a, 53a-95, 53a-100aa, 53a-101, 53a-102, 53a-102a, 53a-103a, 53a-111, 53a-112, 53a-134, 53a-135, 53a-136, 53a-167c, 53a-179b, 53a-179c, or 53a-181c of the general statutes, and (4) who is not otherwise prohibited from being granted parole for any reason, may be allowed to go at large on parole in accordance with the provisions of section 54-125a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, or section 54-125g of the general statutes, as amended by this act, pursuant to the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(b) A member of the board, or an employee of the board qualified by education, experience or training in the administration of community corrections, parole, pardons, criminal justice, criminology, the evaluation or supervision of offenders or the provision of mental health services to offenders, may evaluate whether parole should be granted to an inmate pursuant to this section. The board member or employee shall (1) use risk-based structured decision making and release criteria developed under policies adopted by the board pursuant to subsection (d) of section 54-124a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and (2) review the inmate's offender accountability plan, including, but not limited to, the environment to which the inmate plans to return upon release, to determine whether parole should be recommended for such inmate.

(c) If the board member or qualified employee recommends parole for an inmate, the chairperson of the board shall present such recommendation and all pertinent information to a parole release panel for approval. No parole release panel may review such recommendation and determine the suitability for parole release of an inmate unless the chairperson has made reasonable efforts to determine the existence of and obtain all information deemed pertinent to the panel's decision and has certified that all such pertinent information determined to exist has been obtained or is unavailable.

Sec. 12. Subsection (a) of section 54-125a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) A person convicted of one or more crimes who is incarcerated on or after October 1, 1990, who received a definite sentence or aggregate sentence of more than two years, and who has been confined under such sentence or sentences for not less than one-half of the aggregate sentence less any risk reduction credit earned under the provisions of section 18-98e or one-half of the most recent sentence imposed by the court less any risk reduction credit earned under the provisions of section 18-98e, whichever is greater, may be allowed to go at large on parole in (1) accordance with the provisions of section 11 of this act, or (2) the discretion of the panel of the Board of Pardons and Paroles for the institution in which the person is confined, if [(1)] (A) it appears from all available information, including any reports from the Commissioner of Correction that the panel may require, that there is reasonable probability that such inmate will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and [(2)] (B) such release is not incompatible with the welfare of society. At the discretion of the panel, and under the terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the panel including requiring the parolee to submit personal reports, the parolee shall be allowed to return to the parolee's home or to reside in a residential community center, or to go elsewhere. The parolee shall, while on parole, remain under the jurisdiction of the board until the expiration of the maximum term or terms for which the parolee was sentenced less any risk reduction credit earned under the provisions of section 18-98e. Any parolee released on the condition that the parolee reside in a residential community center may be required to contribute to the cost incidental to such residence. Each order of parole shall fix the limits of the parolee's residence, which may be changed in the discretion of the board and the Commissioner of Correction. Within three weeks after the commitment of each person sentenced to more than two years, the state's attorney for the judicial district shall send to the Board of Pardons and Paroles the record, if any, of such person.

Sec. 13. Section 54-125g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 18-100d, 54-124c and 54-125a, as amended by this act, any person who has six months or less to the expiration of the maximum term or terms for which such person was sentenced, may be allowed to go at large on parole pursuant to section 11 of this act or following a hearing pursuant to section 54-125a, as amended by this act, provided such person agrees (1) to be subject to supervision by personnel of the Department of Correction for a period of one year, and (2) to be retained in the institution from which such person was paroled for a period equal to the unexpired portion of the term of his or her sentence if such person is found to have violated the terms or conditions of his or her parole. Any person subject to the provisions of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (b) of section 54-125a shall only be eligible to go at large on parole under this section after having served ninety-five per cent of the definite sentence imposed.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2015

21a-279

Sec. 2

October 1, 2015

7-294d(c)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2015

29-28(b)

Sec. 4

October 1, 2015

29-36f(b)

Sec. 5

October 1, 2015

29-37p(b)

Sec. 6

October 1, 2015

53a-217(a)

Sec. 7

October 1, 2015

53a-217c(a)

Sec. 8

October 1, 2015

18-100h(b)

Sec. 9

June 30, 2015

54-124a

Sec. 10

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 11

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 12

July 1, 2015

54-125a(a)

Sec. 13

July 1, 2015

54-125g

Statement of Purpose:

To implement the Governor's budget recommendations.

[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.]