Coutu asks opponent to join him in calling on Governor Malloy to suspend program.
Norwich- State Representative Chris Coutu, candidate for State Senate in Connecticut’s 19th District, is calling on Governor Malloy to suspend the state’s controversial inmate early release program.The program, formally called the Risk Reduction Earned Credit (RREC) program, was passed by the legislature against unanimous Republican opposition in 2011. It allows Connecticut inmates – including those imprisoned for killing, kidnap, rape,robbery, child molestation and other violent crimes – to earn “good behavior”credits for participating in basic re-entry programs. The credits, which can be earned retroactively to 2006, are used to reduce the criminals’ court-ordered prison sentences.
The RREC program has come under increasing public scrutiny following the arrest of Frankie Resto for the July murder of Ibrahim Ghazal at a Meriden EZ Mart. Resto, a violent felon, was released from prison in April after being granted 199 days of early release credits under the program. Another criminal who earned credits under the program was released and rearrested last week for the murder of an East Hartford convenience store clerk last week.
Coutu says “enough is enough.” He is calling on the Governor to suspend the program. "I worked as a convenience store clerk for two years and was once assaulted. Letting violent offenders out of prison puts these clerks and everyone in our communities at risk. We must do all we can to keep public safety as our top
Coutu has been fighting the inmate early release program since its inception, warning on the night of the vote that “the legislature would have ink (blood) on its hands” the first time an inmate released under this program committed another violent crime. He said the tragic murder of Mr. Ghazal should be all the evidence reasoning individuals need to prove this program doesn’t work.
“Inmate rehabilitation programs for non-violent offenders are important and often help these individuals reenter society and be productive citizens. But many violent
criminals simply cannot be rehabilitated. There rate of recidivism is too great
and there is no room for error. This program needs to be suspended before
another senseless crime is committed, or another innocent life is lost,” said
He is asking his opponent for the 19th District Senate Seat, Cathy Osten, to join him in calling on Governor Malloy to suspend the program. “There
are some issues, like public safety, that transcend partisan politics. I’m
asking my opponent to make a bipartisan commitment with me to stand up for the safety of the residents of the 19th District and tell Governor Malloy to immediately suspend this program.”