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Message from the President Beth Chapman

from PBUS

Connecticut "Second Chance" Criminal Justice Reforms Defeated

Connecticut Governor Daniel P. Malloy's "Second Chance" criminal justice reforms took a major hit with House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey declining to bring the Governor's bill to a vote during a special session, killing the bill for 2016.

Governor Malloy focused on criminal justice reform after his re-election to a second term in 2014. His "second chance" initiative last year included a repeal of mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession. For 2016, he was determined to extend these reforms even further. The Governor proposed eliminating bail for many misdemeanor offenses with the goal of releasing hundreds of inmates being held pretrial. He also proposed raising the age of adult criminal responsibility to 21 years of age for crimes other than felonies. With intense opposition in the legislature regarding the age for criminal responsibility, Governor Malloy instead focused on eliminating bail requirements. In the end however, legislators had too many questions regarding his approach for the bill and the special session was adjourned sine die.

I want to thank the bail agents of Connecticut, the NYS Association of Bail Bond Agents, PBUS Northeast Director Scott Churchill, Jeff Clayton, Policy Director for the American Bail Coalition and many PBUS members for collectively coming together to help defeat this harmful legislation. Working together, we were able to express our concerns to the Governor's administration and other members of the Connecticut General Assembly that these measures needed more study and analysis. For instance, statistics from the Connecticut Judicial Department showed that the majority of defendants being held pretrial had significant risk factors and lengthy criminal histories.

We are confident that Governor Malloy will bring his "second chance" initiatives back during the next legislative session. Given this, we must all remain vigilant and continue to work together to promote the public safety and taxpayer benefits the private bail industry provides.

2016 Mid-Year Meeting

Less than one week is left for the guaranteed room rate (ends June 15) at the IP Casino Resort and Spa and then rooms will be at the prevailing rate. If you haven't made your reservation do so NOW. On-line registration will be available until 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, July 1, 2016 so don't delay. REGISTER TODAY!

We have a great mid-year meeting lined-up with the all-day "Ground Zero" session focused on our efforts to combat federal lawsuits brought by EJUL. Don't miss this exciting session! more

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