PA 17-217—HB 7262

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONNECTICUT SENTENCING COMMISSION WITH RESPECT TO VICTIM NOTIFICATION

SUMMARY: This act requires courts to make more information available to crime victims about sentencing and proposed plea bargains. It also requires the Department of Correction (DOC) to make general offender sentencing information available to the public (e.g., information on eligibility for, and application of, earned risk reduction credits).

Under the state constitution, crime victims have a right to be notified of court proceedings and information about the arrest, conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused (Conn. Const. Art 1, 8(b)). The act specifies the information the court must provide the victim at sentencing when a convicted defendant receives a definite or total effective prison term of more than two years. The court must indicate (1) the maximum period of imprisonment that may apply to the defendant and (2) whether the defendant may be eligible to earn risk reduction credits or apply for release on parole.

The act also requires the state's attorney, assistant state's attorney, or deputy assistant state's attorney in charge of a case to provide the above information if the terms of a proposed plea agreement provide for the imprisonment term stated above. By law, the state's attorney must provide the victim, on request, with the terms of a proposed plea agreement in writing before the court accepts it.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

GENERAL OFFENDER SENTENCING INFORMATION

Under the act, DOC must make general offender sentencing information available to the public. This must include:

1. the procedures for releasing someone;

2. presentence confinement credit and application information;

3. eligibility for, and application of, earned risk reduction credits;

4. parole eligibility standards;

5. the statewide automated victim information and notification system (CT SAVIN); and

6. any other information the commissioner deems pertinent.

CT SAVIN is a fully automated judicial branch service that helps keep crime victims and interested individuals informed of the progress of criminal cases through the court process.