MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- When it comes to prisoners, there is a board in place to make sure they're being rehabbed before they're released into the public. But, a memo obtained from News 8, has people questioning the board's role in the future.
The message in an internal memo from the Department of Corrections is being read in two ways. Some fearing this will allow prisoners to be released without proper rehab, others say it's just the opposite. (Read the memo below)
"The DOC is ignoring the Board of Pardons and Paroles directives as far as rehabilitating prisoners before they are released into the public," said former State Senator Len Suzio.
Former State Senator Len Suzio is all fired up over a memo that News 8 showed to him from the Department of Correction, formalizing a plan of action by the department and the board when it comes to prisoners.
"It just shows me that this administration has learned nothing from the Petit family murder in Cheshire," said Suzio.
After the horrific Cheshire Murders, legislation was passed to establish the Board of Pardons and Parole to enhance public safety. The person who sent News 8 the memo says this message would disregard the board's decisions, and put your safety at risk.
"I think that's completely insane. If they don't listen to the people put in charge, why have them in charge," said Ron Perry.
Ron Perry is still sickened how the owner of a neighborhood gas station, Ibrahim Ghazal, was shot and killed.
The man accused of murdering him, Frankie Resto, had been recently released from prison under the state's early release program.
Other neighbors are also ticked off.
"I have three children and thirteen grandchildren. One of them goes to the store and gets murdered. I don't think so," said Larry Beck.
The Department of Correction tells News 8 that the memo pertains to non-violent offenders and the goal is to keep prisoners from being released without appropriate treatment.
This from the D-O-C's response says in part:
"...in some cases out -patient drug treatment may be substituted for inpatient treatment to make sure that non-violent offenders are properly supervised and get appropriate treatment as they transition back into the community."
"Everybody is lolly gagging and nothing is going to get done," said Beck.
News 8 talked to the governor's office and they wanted to point out that the prison population is up, even as the crime rate in Connecticut has gone down, which they say proves that more inmates are actually serving their time.
Director of Communications Andrew Doba said in a statement:
"Once again, former Senator Suzio is wrong. Crime is down, arrests are down, and yet the prison population has been rising. If this former state senator thinks that too many people are being released, he has a problem with arithmetic. Back in reality, the simple fact is that fewer people are being let out of prison right now than at any other time in recent history."
The following is the memo being referred to:
Below is the response on behalf of Commissioner James Dzurenda, CT Department of Correction:
"The Department of Correction and the Board of Pardons and Paroles have agreed that in some cases out-patient drug treatment may be substituted for inpatient treatment to make sure that non-violent offenders are properly supervised and get appropriate treatment as they transition back into the community. The Department of Correction and the Board of Pardons and Paroles are working together to resolve a technical issue which we fear might result in prisoners being released into the community without appropriate drug treatment. For example, if the Board of Pardons and Paroles has required "residential in-patient drug treatment" after a prisoner's release, and if there are no in-patient beds available, a prisoner might finish his sentence and be released without any post release drug treatment at all. This is a risk to public safety and makes it more likely that a drug dependent offender will re-offend."
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