Georgette Katin Executive Director, Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern CT Willimantic
The Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern CT, Inc., disagrees with statements made by both state Rep. Ernest Hewett and Departent of Correction spokesman Brian Garnett - "New law means earlier release for state's inmates" (June 25) - insinuating that the Risk Reduction Earned Credits (RREC) bill was meant to provide programs to address behavioral issues that offenders may have.
In reality, these are pre-existing programs that, to our knowledge, have no evidence based outcomes, and therefore it is an assumption that these programs somehow alter offenders' future behaviors and reduce recidivism rates.
The representative and spokesman should have looked at programs vetted by the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association in order to select programs with evidence based outcomes. Without proving that these programs improve offenders' behaviors, this bill is nothing more than a cost reduction vehicle for the state, which lies heavily on the backs of victims and communities at large.
Additionally, from a victim's perspective, the state of Connecticut should not need to hand out incentives to inmates in order to engage them in rehabilitative programs. Rather, these programs should be mandatory, and lack of participation should be mandatory, and lack of participation should be interpreted as an indication that the inmate is not interested in, or ready to be paroled.