Newsbrief: Connecticut Democrats to Propose Sentencing Reforms 9/12/03

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The Hartford Courant reported Tuesday that Democratic state legislators will propose major sentencing reforms during a special session next month in order to reduce the number of prisoners and the size of the state's $577 million prison budget. Earlier this year, Democratic legislative leaders failed to pass a similar measure, instead caving in to Republicans, who did not want to bring the issue to a vote.

A draft proposal of the legislation made available to the Courant calls for:

  • Mandatory parole for most offenses and early parole for others.
  • Elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and certain other nonviolent crimes.
  • Reduction in the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.
  • The judicial branch and parole board to submit plans to reduce by 25% the number of parolees sent back to prison for technical violations, such as failing a drug test or missing a meeting with the parole officer.
According to the most recent statistics from the CT Dept. of Correction (http://www.doc.state.ct.us/report/stat20030701.htm), nearly 3,000 of the state's 19,000 prisoners are drug offenders. Another 2,293 were serving time for parole violations. Connecticut taxpayers shell out $72.73 per prisoner per day to keep them there.

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Issue #302, 9/12/03 Oops! -- "Killer Ecstasy" Study Retracted, NIDA Credibility on the Line, RAVE Act Still Law | Marijuana as Budget Saver? Study Looks at Implications of Legalization in Massachusetts | Current Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, Plan Colombia, HEA, Ashcroft's Attack on Judicial Discretion | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Newsbrief: Human Rights Watch Calls California's Anti-Syringe Laws a Violation of Human Rights, Details Police Harassment of Exchanges | Arianna Huffington Speaks at UC Berkeley SSDP-Volunteer-Organized Event | Newsbrief: Tommy Chong Sentenced to Nine Months on Bong Charges | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: West Africa Drug War -- Business As Usual, Except for the Lizards | Newsbrief: Canadian Cities Federation Stays Firm in Support of Cannabis Decrim | Newsbrief: New Mexico Church Wins Ruling in Ayahuasca Case | Newsbrief: Pakistani Prison Officials Call for Different Treatment of Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: Dutch Government Seeks to Ban Cops from Enjoying Coffee Shops | Newsbrief: Connecticut Democrats to Propose Sentencing Reforms | The Reformer's Calendar
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