We at the Board are committed to transparency and communication about the role and mandate of our agency. I believe that as taxpayers and members of the community - indeed, as people with a stake in a safer society - you have a right to access information pertaining to the discretionary parole and pardon processes.
The Board of Pardons and Paroles is an integral part of the legal system and plays a critical role in Connecticut's criminal justice policy. The majority of our work is mandated by law
. Inmates are eligible to be paroled at either 50% or 85% of their sentence of incarceration, depending on the crime(s) of which they are convicted and the date those crimes were committed. Offenders are eligible to apply for a pardon after three years for a misdemeanor or five years for a felony.
The remainder of our work is driven by a moral and ethical responsibility to do our part in making Connecticut, all 169 towns and cities, great places to live, work, play, and raise children. As Chair of the Board, it is important to me that we accomplish this by doing what we are supposed to do as an agency and do it well. The Board is tasked with determining which parole eligible inmates, with appropriate and effective supports and interventions, are likely to return to their communities as productive and contributing members and remain so. The Board is also called upon to decide which offenders deserve to be legally forgiven for their past actions based on their demonstrated, successful reengagement with their communities. It is not our job to punish offenders, but to ascertain their suitability for reentering society.
Making such determinations amounts to calculated risks and requires us to rely on science. The Board seeks to utilize research-based assessment tools that measure both an offender's risks for criminal behavior and needs that must be met if they are expected to change that behavior. Given that it costs Connecticut taxpayers an average of $33,000 a year to incarcerate an offender, and the vast majority of inmates will, at some point, reach the end of the incarceration portion of their sentence, it behooves us to be proactive about who walks out the prison doors.
Content Last Modified on 4/30/2014 9:29:15 AM