As a member of the Judiciary Committee, State Rep. John Shaban (R-135) heard testimony from family members of homicide victims seeking to repeal the early release (good time) credit program for violent criminals.
In 2011, Shaban—who represents Weston, Redding and Easton—voted against this program which was forced through the legislature in a budget bill and without public hearing. The new law, promoted as a way to save money, granted existing prisoners credits retroactively, and now allows inmates to earn up to a maximum of five days a month off their sentence for complying with certain programs, and for their accompanying good behavior. While inmates convicted of murder, first-degree sexual assault and home invasion are ineligible for the program, it nevertheless grants early release credits to inmates convicted of rape, arson, kidnapping or sexual molestation of a child.
"I had and have a problem with releasing violent felons and threatening public safety simply to save money," Shaban said. "In a state that spends money recklessly, this is not the place cut corners."
Notably, in June 2012, a 70-year-old small business owner was shot and killed at his Meriden convenience store by a man recently released through the retroactive application of the Risk Reduction Credits while serving time for robbery. Similarly, in August 2012, an East Hartford store clerk was murdered by a man released early under the program form his sentence for robbery and assault.
"At a minimum," Shaban said, “we need to stop the early release of criminals serving time for rape, kidnapping, arson and first-degree manslaughter before more innocent residents are harmed.”