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Sentencing Task Force Survey of Priorities Results. Question #1. For this question respondents were asked to prioritize the following Sentencing Task Force statutory requirements Identify overarching criminal justice sentencing goals and policies

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Sentencing Task ForceSurvey of PrioritiesResults


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Question #1

For this question respondents were asked to prioritize the following Sentencing Task Force statutory requirements

Identify overarching criminal justice sentencing goals and policies

Define current sentencing trends by offense types and offender characteristics

Analyze sentencing trends by offense types and offender characteristics

Review the actual versus intended impact of sentencing policies

Determine the direct and indirect costs associated with sentencing policies.

Review the fines and terms of imprisonment specified for violations of criminal statutes.


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Question 1 Results

*The majority of respondents feel that identifying overarching criminal justice sentencing goals and policies should be a priority for the Sentencing Task Force.


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Question 1 Results Cont…

This chart represents the average answers for each question, answers remain consistent


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Answers Provided for the “Other” Category

  • Lack of judicial discretion

  • Reform the bail-bond situation including better uniform guidelines for the court to use in imposing amounts of money on defendants.

  • Eliminate absolute statutes and classify all offenses in order to provide uniformity

  • Racial impact on sentencing

  • Establishment of a sentencing commission.


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Questions 2, 3 & 4

  • For the following questions, respondents were asked to circle all answers that apply.

  • Answer “e” was an open ended answer which allowed respondents to provide information they felt was relevant but was not included.


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Question #2

What aspects of Connecticut’s sentencing policies are working well?

  • Truth in Sentencing laws

  • Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for violent offenders

  • Alternative Sentencing

  • Community Supervision

  • Other


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Question 2 Results

*The majority of respondents feel that the current Alternative Sentencing policy is working well


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Answers Provided for Option “e”

  • All “work”. We need to balance public safety, cost effectiveness and fairness.

  • Mandatory Minimums are usually Draconian and apply more to drug offenses; not usually violent offenders


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Question #3

What aspects of Connecticut’s sentencing policies are working well?

  • Truth in Sentencing laws

  • Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

  • Alternative Sentencing

  • Community Supervision

  • Other


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Question 3 Results

*The majority of respondents feel that the current Mandatory Minimum Sentencing policy is working well


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Answers Provided for Option “e”

  • Bail bond Industry.

  • Not enough supervision in may cases, flat sentences


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Question #4

What aspects of sentencing goals and policies would you like to explore in greater detail?

  • Impact on recidivism

  • Judicial discretion

  • Structured sentencing (ex. Mandatory Minimums, 85% rule)

  • Increased alternative sanctions

  • Other


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Question 4 Results

*For this question, answers a through d are nearly equally distributed with only 6% of answers that indicated other aspects should be explored.The majority of respondents feel that both the impact on recidivism and increased alternative sanctions should be explored in greater detail. Respondents felt that Judicial discretion and structured sentencing were equally important.


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Answers Provided for Option “e”

  • Reduce the number of offenses which can result in incarceration.

  • Do away with Mandatory Minimums

  • All of the above answers need to consider public safety and handling offenders accountable. System must have discretion defined.


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Question #5

Given the statutory mission of the Sentencing Task Force to identify and make recommendations for criminal justice policies in Connecticut, aside from sentencing, what other topics would you suggest we explore?

*Note: this question was open ended


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Answers Provided to Question #5

  • Points of discretion-plea bargaining

  • Probation, parole, TS, revocation, classification, etc.

  • Reform our entire bail-bond process

  • Impact of pre-trial incarceration

  • overuse of FTA’s

  • Decriminalization for certain minor offenses

  • Clear standards for probation violators

  • Expand opportunity for sentence modification

  • The importance of judicial independence

  • The finding of community reintegration


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Answers Provided for Question #5 cont..

  • Alternative programs for young offenders (mental health, education, vocation training, boot camps)

  • More inmate transition programs

  • Methods to reduce recidivism

  • Collateral consequences of conviction.


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Question #6Preferred Days & Times to Meet

Best day: Mondays

Alternate day: Tuesdays

Time: Afternoons, for both Mondays and Tuesdays