Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Republicans Still Argue Against Early Release... Ignoring Recidivism

I understand the thinking behind ending the early release program, and I agree with the premise that out of the five categories considered violent crimes: murder and rape should not be eligible for early release.  However... robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault, I feel should be judged on case to case bases for eligibility of early release.

Something that is forgotten or ignored is that these criminals have to go through therapy programs in order to qualify.  Early release is a small reward for completing such a program.

Opponents to the Early Release Program don’t see its benefits.  They would rather have the same inmate stay in jail for an extra couple of months and require no therapy at all.

The real benefit is the reduction of recidivism.  Inmates that take part in the ERP therapies have a much lower rate of recommitting crimes that send them back to jail.

It is akin to teaching your child that when they have done something wrong.  Do you put them in the corner for hours without explaining to what they did wrong and why? Or would you, after a shorter amount of time take them out of the corner and sit and talk about what they had done wrong and why it was wrong? 

When I see quotes from EndEarlyRelease.com such as "thousands of Connecticut criminals have been let loose to terrorize our families and neighborhoods" This is a sweeping generalization. 

Opponents to the ERP would rather have the criminal stay in jail, untreated, for a little longer and get out virtually unchanged in his/her perception of life and living with others. In many ways life in jail makes one worse than when they went in. 

Bottom line is the Early Release Program leads to less crimes being recommitted.  Is it perfect?  No, but I ask the opponents “What do you think will keep the same criminal from committing a crime months later when they get out from their full sentence?”  The answer I usually hear is that it would have giving the (future) victims that much more time from an assault. 
  To me this is like ignoring a ticking time bomb in a suitcase.  Letting it count down, instead of opening the case to disarm the bomb.  Opponents would rather ignore the problem and hope that when that timer reaches zero the bomb is a dud.   

Will attempting to disarm the bomb work every time… No.  But I would rather try disarming than waiting for it to blow.


Bill Wilson said...

Tell that to the families who lost love ones because of early release program. One life lost is one too many. The republicans want to protect the innocent. What are the democrats protecting. It isn't the people.

Darrell Lucas said...

Bill, you are ignoring the reduction of recidivism. Did you even read the post?

David Santacroce said...

Modifying the word criminal with violent and non violent is a difference without a distinction in this case.

Anonymous said...

The early release program must end now for violent criminals. Let me paint you a picture...In 2009 my brother was brutally murdered. He was stabbed 24 times with a chef's knife while he begged for his life in front of an eye witness. He was not armed, and in fact was invited to the scene by his murderer. The fact that the crime took place in the murderer's "home" (he was a vagrant drug addict living in someone's basement)resulted in a hung jury because of the tedium that is a self defense plea in the state of CT. He has now pled to manslaughter and will likely serve no more than 15 years. Why? because people convicted of manslaughter are eligible for "good time". Sickening, right? And guess what? Even though this psycho has a history of violence - threatening to stab different parties over the years - it could not be brought up at his trial. This man WILL kill again - it is merely a question of when. My brother had three sons. His murderer will likely be out of jail before his youngest graduates high school. Scum like the man who murdered my brother permeates the prison system. So many "manslaughter" cases it would make your head spin. All of them will be out long before they deserve to be.

Jennifer Peifer

Darrell Lucas said...

Jennifer I am sorry for your loss.

In my post I write that Murderers and rapists shouldn't be eligible. I am sure there are many other categories of criminals that also shouldn't be allowed for early release.

I also state that robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault should be judged on case to case bases for eligibility of early release.

Opponents want to end the program entirely. Not considering the inmates with non-violent convictions.

I wish the world was Just.

Anonymous said...

Not all opponents want to end the program entirely. That's Suzio's position. In fact, there are several bills in the legislature right now to modify the existing law. The bigger question remains: why aren't ALL offenders getting this counseling and support? It seems foolish that they've constructed what is tantamount to a system of bribery to get these criminals to participate in programs supposedly for their own good. Trust me, you will be hard pressed to find any inmates, short of felony murderers, serving their sentences day for day regardless of "good time". It's always a sentence like "12 years suspended after 6 with 5 years probation..." so they are entering prison not obligated to serve what they should have been in the first place! Risk Reduction is just a slap in the face to society and victims. Our criminal justice system has now become its own cash cow industry with all the court continuances, probation violations, etc. The only ones who truly pay are the victims and their families. Michael Lawlor does not seem to give a crap about us. It's all about the bottom line. Please don't be duped into believing it is anything more than that.

Jennifer Peifer

Bill Wilson said...

Thank you Jennifer for putting this whole issue in perspective. Attorney General Lawlor doesn't care about us but is making a name for himself

Mr B. said...

Key question that needs some answers and study is as Jennifer mentioned above; why isn't it mandatory for ALL convicts be rehabilitated? How is it that they have a choice?

Tree Fanatic said...

Re Mr. Wilson's latest comment, and in the interest of clarification, Michael Lawlor is not CT's Attorney General. That position is still held by George Jepsen.

Anonymous said...

Michael Lawlor is undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning at the Office of Policy and Management. He is the #1 "champion" of risk reduction in CT.