Nov 17, 2008

Suggestions To Help State Budget

The excerpt below was taken from the linked article in this weeks Hartford Courant. Its
about about the obscene money that the state of Connecticut is spending on things like 24 hr prison guards who are posted on the two men that are awaiting trial for the murder and assaults of the Petit family in July 2007.

The costs of the guards alone is over 300, 000 year and this does not include the additional monies spent on roof snipers, special guards and deputies that accompany both men individually to every single court date related to thier respective cases.

As well we should consider that the state is also paying for an exhaustive criminal defense for what is a death penalty capital murder case; Both have public attorneys that are high up on the states pay-scale, due to their longevity and position---
And rather ironically we are of course also paying to prosecute these same men that we are paying to defend so vigorously-this is being handled by one of the top prosecutors in the state and his team of lawyers, investigators, paralegals and clerks, And the word is that the actual trial for this case is not expected to ven begin until sometime in 2010! Besides that fact that this time period is a travesty of justice for Dr Petit and the family of the victims, That's also another 2 years of paying for their prison upkeep; their food. tioletries, television, books and of course their dental and medical needs-something that many hard working and law abiding citizens cannot afford for themselves and thus must do without. Steven Hayes the older of the two defendents has reportedly been given anti-anxiety and pain medication on a daily basis for unknown"conditions" since he was first incarcerated.

The truth be told, this is just the tip of the iceberg re the state money spent on these two men,- And thus, each time I hear a legislator say something to the effect of how much money a three strikes law would cost the state-I say... take a look at what not having a repeat offender law or responsible senetencing practices, has cost us .! Just look at this case alone; if we had kept even one of these two men in prison, where they both clearly belonged, regardless of whether they committed the crimes against the Petit family or not, (noone should serve 3 1/2 years for over 20 felony convictions and even more actual charges as Komisarjevsky did ) we would have saved millions of dollars and much more importantly, Hayley, Michaela and Jennifer Petit would still be alive, spreading their goodness and compassion all around them.

"I understand that Hayes has been under a one-to-one watch since July 2007. That means each day, one correction officer on each eight-hour shift is assigned to watch Hayes in his cell. The person assigned to it is either on overtime or someone is called in to fill the regular job of the person assigned to Hayes and is paid overtime. That's time and a half most days, and double time and a half on some holidays. If a chemical agent has to be used in a nearby cell, that officer is not allowed to move. He or she sits there.

Here's the stupefying math: With regular overtime, we can estimate it's costing $40 an hour to watch Hayes for 168 hours a week . That's $6,720 a week, $349,440 a year. No other Northern prisoner has ever been on a one-to-one watch for more than a couple of weeks.

Hayes is neither an assaultive inmate nor a gang member. If he's a suicide risk, there's a medical unit at Northern. There's also Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown where, according to the DOC website, "adult male offenders with significant mental health issues have been consolidated at this Level 4 high-security facility."

Some spending cuts will be painful. Plenty, however, won't hurt at all. Start with Steven Hayes. Spending $350,000 a year on a fiend taunts taxpayers.

• Kevin Rennie is a lawyer and a former Republican state legislator. He can be reached at

Suggestions To Help State Budget --

No comments: