During the 2023 Legislative Session the Connecticut Sentencing Commission developed and submitted four legislative proposals for consideration by the General Assembly. Located within the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP), the Commission has been conducting criminal justice policy research since 2011. Below are this year’s proposals with their statement’s of purpose. More information to come!
- An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission With Respect to Sexual Assault in the Fourth Degree
- The Statement of Purpose: To clarify the requirements of sexual assault in the fourth degree with an animal or a dead body.
- An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission Providing Judicial Discretion for Certain Motor Vehicle Offenses With Mandatory Minimum Sentences
- The Statement of Purpose: To allow a judge to depart from certain motor vehicle mandatory minimum sentences after considering mitigating circumstances in the same manner as permitted for certain other motor vehicle offenses.
- An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission Regarding Parole Eligibility for an Individual Serving a Lengthy Sentence for a Crime Committed Before the Individual Reached the Age of Twenty-one
- The Statement of Purpose: To raise the parole eligibility age for an individual who serves a lengthy sentence for a crime committed before the age of twenty-one.
- An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission Regarding Appointment of an Advocate in a Criminal Proceeding Regarding the Welfare or Custody of an Animal
- The Statement of Purpose: To allow a judge to appoint an advocate in a criminal proceeding regarding the welfare or custody of any animal owned or kept by a person rather than a cat or dog as currently permitted.
Under Connecticut General Statute Section 54-300(f) the Commission is required to build a “…state-wide sentencing database in collaboration with state and local agencies…” The database is intended to be used for evidence-based criminal justice policy analysis.
School of Public Policy (SPP) Associate Research Professor Vaughn Crichlow and UConn School of Law Professor Sachin Pandya are currently assisting the Commission in developing a state-wide sentencing database. They began collaborating earlier this year in order to inform the Commission’s efforts to analyze sentencing policy and practice. Dr. Crichlow also serves as Director of Research with IMRP.
In late September they presented their study proposal at a Commission meeting at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut. Their study will use stakeholder interviews in order to identify the technical and socio-legal challenges faced by state sentencing commissions and similar agencies in developing and maintaining criminal sentencing database. The scope of their study is focused within the United States.
During this meeting, Representative Steven Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport), who is the co-chair of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, called upon the Commission to reconsider bail reform. Commission Chair Judge Robin Pavia noted that the Commission continues to look at the issue.
In November, the Commission will hold a conversation about “Mental Health and the Criminal Legal System in Connecticut.” Join the Commission and UConn School of Law on Thursday, November 16th from 8:30am – 4:30pm in William F. Starr Hall at UConn Scho. Speakers will discuss mental health and opportunities to improve individual and state outcomes.