Hearing Held on Early Prisoner Release Program - NBC Connecticut

Hearing Held on Early Prisoner Release Program



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    Last year, the state approved controversial legislation that allows inmates to earn credits to shorten prison sentences.

    Today, an informational hearing was held at the legislative office building to discuss the risk reduction earned credit program. 

    Republicans have criticized the program after the murders of store clerks in East Hartford and Meriden.

    “The inability of the state to properly monitor high risk offenders who were given early release  has proven to been an abject failure. It appears the state saved money by implementing this program,’’ House Republican Leader Larry Cafero said in a news release calling for the program to be suspended. “Shame on the system.’’  

    State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz said Kezlyn Mendez, the suspect in the murder in East Hartford, was released from prison early as a result of the state's new Risk Reduction Earned Credit Program.

    “We want the program halted,” said Michelle Cruz, the state victim advocate, who said the program should be evaluated.

    "The Democrats claim they need more time to let this program work out but it is already too late for the families of two men who were gunned down this summer," Cafero said.

    Governor Malloy's Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy says the incident did not have to with the early release program.

    Mike Lawlor said the Mendez's sentences were unjustly reduced, including his most recent probation violation.

    "If prosecutors had been serious about dealing with someone who is clearly a bad guy, this terrible situation would have turned out differently," Lawlor said.

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