State senator wants early release program suspended
By WFSB Staff
WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -
A state legislator is once again calling for Connecticut to stop running its early prison release program after one of the men involved in the shooting of a toddler was part of it.
Tramire Miller, 16 months, was injured by a stray bullet in a drive-by shooting on Kensington Street in New Haven on Wednesday afternoon.
On Monday, police arrested Joseph Metteus, 18, from Chapel Street in New Haven and have a warrant for Tythrone Ford, 19, who is currently in jail for a parole violation.
According to State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz, Ford was on the Connecticut's early prison release list. Ford is a member of the Grape Street Crips and has a long criminal history.
"A 1-year-old baby was almost murdered and one of these early release prisoners were implicated," said state Sen. Len Suzio during a press conference at the Department of Correction building in Wethersfield on Tuesday afternoon.
The Risk Reduction Earned Credits Program has been the subject of much controversy. The program allows inmates to earn credit toward early release for good behavior. Prisoners can earn up to five days a month off their sentence.
Republican Suzio wants the program suspended immediately until more research can be done on the risk assessment for prisoners being released.
Ford was originally given a six-month sentence as a youthful offender for violating probation and had to serve at least three months of it. He started serving his sentence on June 1 and was released on Aug. 31, according to Suzio.
Ford earned 13 days of credit through the early release program and served only 50 percent of his original sentence. He was released on "transitional supervision," which means he was being supervised by parole officers.
Suzio said Ford would have been released from prison regardless of his early release credits. However, he said this law is not helping rehabilitate convicts.
"Crime is at a 40-year low, fewer people are being released from prison than almost any point in the past seven years," the governor's senior advisor said Tuesday. "And many of those who are in prison are serving longer sentences than they would have served under the law Sen. Suzio supports."
Outside of New Haven Superior Court, Ford's family did not want to comment, and neither did the family of the toddler shot in New Haven.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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