Art Linares, candidate for State Senate in the 33rd district, last week urged his opponent to join him in asking Governor Dannel Malloy to suspend the early release program for violent criminals.
“The cold-blooded murder of Ibrahim Ghazal on June 27th was tragic proof that early release is a threat to our community,” said Linares. “Public safety must be the first priority of government. I urge Governor Malloy to suspend this misguided program immediately, and I urge Representative Crawford to join me in that demand.”
Under the Risk Reduction Earned Credit program, violent felons—including armed robbers, arsonists, terrorists, rapists, and repeat sex offenders—are eligible for early release from prison if they attend certain classes and meet other bureaucratic criteria. Frank Resto, accused of the murder of Mr. Ghazal, was released under the program, despite a history of violent behavior in prison.
“I don’t know what Representative Crawford was thinking when he voted to let these criminals out early,” said Linares. “Not only did he support the bill, but he voted against amendments that would have removed sex offenders and violent criminals from the program.
“Whatever his reasoning, now that we’ve seen the results of this policy, it’s time to do the right thing and suspend the program. Meanwhile we are all in danger, and I honestly believe it’s only a matter of time until early release results in another horrific attack.
“It’s clear that oversight and review required to make such a program work safely simply aren’t in place. Until that happens—and until the legislature has a chance to revisit the topic next session—we should keep violent criminals behind bars until their sentences are served.
“I believe that’s what the people of this district want—it’s what I will work for as a State Senator, and what I believe has to happen now.”