FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 26, 2012
New Arrest Prompts Cubellotti to Renew Call to Suspend Early Release Credit Prison Program
HARTFORD – A new arrest of a former Connecticut inmate who participated in the controversial Risk Reduction Earned Credit Program (RREC) has prompted Craig Cubellotti, candidate for State Representative in the 99th District to renew his call for the program’s termination.
Joseph Mabery was arrested last Wednesday in Middletown on charges that he performed a sex act on himself in front of a 14-year-old girl on a transit bus. Mabery, who was incarcerated most recently in 2011 has a record of 28 convictions including one for raping a Wesleyan student at knife-point in the early 1990’s. He was let go early by accruing early release credits through RREC, which was passed last year by Democrats in the legislature including Rep. James Albis, and signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.
“We are being told by the administration that this program is helping reform criminals, but I don’t see it that way,” said Cubellotti. “What I see are a number of violent offenders being turned loose on our communities being given new opportunities to prey on us. If Joseph Mabery, an inmate with 28 convictions, was considered a prime candidate for early release, who exactly are they turning away from the program?”
Cubellotti was on hand last week at the Legislative Office Building as members of the Judiciary Committee listened to a presentation by the State’s Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz on the RREC program, and the role it potentially played in two recent murders. After the presentation Cubellotti called for the termination of the program, and called on incumbent Rep. James Albis to explain his vote in favor of this program; something he has failed to do to date.
“Representative Albis voted in favor of this program, and during its short life it has already been cited in two murders and in this sexual assault,” said Cubellotti. “I think Representative Albis owes the people he serves an explanation of his support for the program, and why as a member of the Judiciary Committee he opposed attempts to prohibit violent offenders from receiving the credits. It is unacceptable and disappointing that he has been completely silent on the issue.”
The program permits the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections to award the credits to inmates for good behavior retroactive to April 1, 2006. The only felons ineligible for the program are those convicted of murder, first-degree sexual assault and home invasion. It allows criminals who committed crimes such as rape, arson, kidnapping or sexual molestation of a child under 13, out of jail before their sentences are completed.
In June a 70-year-old small business owner was shot and killed at his Meriden convenience store. The man arrested for that murder earned 199 days of Risk Reduction Credits while serving time for robbery. In August, an East Hartford store clerk was also murdered. The man arrested, who was previously convicted for robbery and assault, was released early from jail this year due the Early Release Program.
“This is precisely the kind of wrong-headed policy-making I intend to bring to an end if elected to the legislature,” said Cubellotti. “It seems like Governor Malloy and Representative Albis, after supporting $2 billion in new taxes and $1 billion in new spending a year, could only find to savings by letting violent felons out of jail. There is no excuse for compromising public safety to save a dime.”