OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

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

sSB-1105

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE STATUTES, AND CONCERNING THE PSYCHIATRIC SECURITY REVIEW BOARD, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS, DEPOSITIONS OF PERSONS LIVING OUT-OF-STATE.

AMENDMENT

LCO No.: 9072

File Copy No.: 924

House Calendar No.: 537

Senate Calendar No.: 432


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 16 $

FY 17 $

Correction, Dept.

GF - Savings

6.6 million

at least 12.4 million

Mental Health & Addiction Serv., Dept.

GF - Cost/Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The amendment strikes the underlying bill and its fiscal impact and results in the following fiscal impact. The amendment makes changes to statutes regarding drug possession and results in a savings to the Department of Correction (DOC) of $6.6 million in FY 16 and up to $12.4 million in FY 17 through reduction in prison population and corresponding facility closures. Additionally, the amendment results in potential costs and or revenue gain to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services related to administration of pretrial drug education and community service program.

Section 1 reduces the penalties for felony drug possession crimes to class A misdemeanors. Based on current prison population, this will reduce the prison population by approximately 1,120 inmates during FY 16. These changes are summarized in the following chart.

Changes in Prison Population based on Changes to Drug Penalties

Change

Population Reduction

Parole of sentenced prisoners

-550

Presentence population

-480

Sentenced Population changes

-90

Total Reduction During FY 16

-1,120

Currently there are approximately 550 sentenced inmates incarcerated for offenses changed in the amendment. The amendment allows the Commissioner of Correction to consider the changes to statute in the amendment when making parole decisions. The Commissioner has the authority to release these inmates from supervision in the facility to parole supervision in the community. In addition to the currently sentenced inmates, there are approximately 480 un-sentenced inmates incarcerated for these offenses that may avoid prison sentences. Lastly, approximately 90 offenders over the course of the last three quarters of FY 16 will avoid prison sentences based on the changes in the amendment. These savings assume that although offenders can be sentenced to up to a year in prison, most will be sentenced to probation or subject to supervision in the community by the Department of Correction.

Based on the projected reduction in prison population due to changes in the amendment, DOC will close three prison annexes over the course of FY 16 as the prison population decreases. The FY 16 savings associated with the closures is $6.6 million. The annualized savings in FY 17 is $12.4 million.

Section 1 also reduces the crime of possession of drugs on or near school property that result in potential savings to DOC. The section eliminates the mandatory minimum prison term of 2 years unless the court finds reason to impose such sentence on second violations. To the extent that the changes in the amendment reduce the length of sentences associated with offenses, savings to DOC would result. There is no data available on how many offenses the changes in the amendment will affect.

Section 1 and 17 of the amendment result in a revenue gain to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) associated with expanding eligibility to the pretrial drug education and community service program (PDEP). Participants pay fees for their application ($100), evaluation ($150), and sessions ($600 initially and $250 for reinstatements). Currently, and under the provision of the amendment, individuals who are considered indigent are not required to pay the fees and the cost of the program is instead supported by DMHAS. While the program is currently self-sustaining, the agency could incur additional expenditures depending on the number of additional participants and their ability to pay. The Pre-Trial account, which supports this program, has experienced revenues of $2.1 million and expenditures of $2.9 million in FY 15 to date. With the addition of FY 14 carryforward funding, the account is estimated to end the current fiscal year with a balance of $135,000.

Sources:

Department of Correction Summary of Offenders by Controlling Offense, as of 1/1/2015

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. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.