To Parole or not to Parole..
An AP article in today's Stamford Advocate regarding the long term effects of pulling parole in the state, with ominous references to the last time Connecticut abolished parole in 1981. However what is not pointed out clearly enough is the fact that when the state got rid of parole at that time, they put in its place a totally impractical and overly complicated system of prisoner earned credits for shortened sentences. In essence it ended up trading one problem for another. Clearly as we have the hindsight advantage of that system's long term results-obscenely shortened sentences for violent offenders. This alternative is not a desirable option this time around. Been there done that, in other words.
Let us learn from our mistakes folks. We need to be extremely careful about what kind of system we would put in the place of the current parole system. As a former victim of crime and our of Connecticut court system, I am also inclined to think that parole is but one of many areas that needs to be revamped within this system.
And as much as a "TASK FORCE FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM" sounds great, I am more than a bit wary of just who the governor has put together to work on this high profile issue that came to a head over the Petit family crimes in Cheshire. I am currently doing some research into the members that comprise this group and I will be following its proceedings in the months to come as the details are made public. History shows that very little "Reform" actually takes place by the very people who are part of an already corrupt or dysfunctional system. If any members have a vested interest in the Connecticut court's present day status quo survival and/or have a personal interest in covering up the actual degree of dysfunction and ineptitude that has been allowed to exist for so long, true progress cannot happen. In this type of climate, it takes only a few members with polluted agendas can render such a committee impotent.
I would hate to see the opportunity that we have before us to truly effect some much needed clean up of our courts, squandered by the political back-rubbing that so often hinder true reform of any kind. This is simply too important of an issue to the people of this state for us to allow politics as usual. Our physical safety, the quality of our lives and indeed our very lives are at stake. And if nothing else let us use the horrible tragedy of the Petit family murders as a clear turning point, leading us to embark on a tighter, stricter and more intelligent criminal justice system in the state of Connecticut.
More to come Re;
The Governors TASK FORCE on Criminal Justice Reform, who's in it and
is it legit or just a prop designed to appease the citizens of Connecticut?
and What we as citizens can do to help ensure that it not become the latter.
Also, What to expect in the upcoming hearings for joshua komisarjevsky and steven hayes...
Why did Judge Damiani relent to the defense team's unusual request for a gag order on The Petit case?
The Advocate - Connecticut considers major overhaul in wake of Cheshire killings