Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Corrections Sentencing in CT and NY
Good article on the pressures building in CT to increase prison pops after a grisly multiple murder by parolees and cooler heads looking at a system that took in 800 in 3 months and union reps already screaming about the dangers of overcrowded facilities. I don’t have much doubt that CT will end up going the way all states have in these situations—more bedspace, fewer dollars for other crim just needs—but I’ve been impressed with the depth of thought and deliberation that has prefaced it all. Having been in too many similar situations, I know that what you read here is not always the norm for this kind of policymaking. Meanwhile, nearby, NY’s sorta sentencing commission has issued a report. Among the recs: Among the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform's recommendations is to eliminate the state's "hybrid" system of sentencing that incorporates fixed and indeterminate sentences for more than 200 nonviolent felonies. The panel also recommended modifying sentencing statutes to allow judges to sentence nonviolent drug-addicted felony offenders to community-based treatment in lieu of state prison when the judge, prosecutor and defendant agree to that outcome. Another recommendation would incorporate broader uses of mild sanctions -- curfews, home confinement, electronic monitoring and re-entry courts. The idea is to cut down on the "revolving door" of incarceration for certain offenders. The commission also wants the state to enact new laws and better enforce existing statutes. Another recommendation would expand prison-based education and vocational training, and establish a permanent sentencing commission to serve as an advisory body to the state.