Sen. Len Suzio has requested an urgent meeting with state Office of Policy and Management Under Secretary Michael Lawlor and other interested legislators to get pressing questions answered regarding the state’s Early Prison Release Program and how it is being applied to violent felons.
"With hundreds of Connecticut inmates being let out of prison each week, the situation is urgent," Sen. Suzio said. "We have already seen one tragedy take place in Meriden, when Ibrahim Ghazal was brutally murdered. The public’s safety is at risk and we need to make sure they are protected. I look forward to meeting with Under Secretary Lawlor as soon as possible, wherever and whenever he wants."
Sen. Suzio noted that Under Secretary Lawlor is the architect of the state’s new policy which enables rapists, arsonists, child molesters and animal abusers to receive "good time" credits while serving their prison sentences. Frankie Resto, the man accused of shooting Ghazal on June 27 at the Meriden EZ Mart convenience store, earned nearly 200 days of risk reduction credits even though he had a history of violence and received several disciplinary citations while in prison.
The early release program has released more than 8,000 inmates in the past nine months. More than 10 percent of those inmates have been returned to custody in that span of time.
Sen. Suzio has posed several questions regarding the program, including an inquiry about the types of courses being offered for which an inmate can receive risk reduction credits. One report listed the History of the Philippines as a course that violent inmates can take in order to shorten their sentences. Sen. Suzio also wants to know what instructor evaluations are required for these courses.
Sen. Suzio has questioned whether inmates in protective custody are earning risk reduction credits, and if so, how that could happen.
Sen. Suzio also has questions regarding psychiatric evaluations as a condition of early release.
Sen. Suzio's petition to suspend the program can be signed at www.senatorsuzio.com .