Connecticut’s Risk Reduction Earned Credit Program
In 2011, Connecticut passed a law that created the Risk Reduction Earned Credit (RREC) program. Under this program, eligible inmates of any security level could participate in classes and programs that could help them earn five days off of their sentence every month. In 2016, however, the Department of Corrections Commissioner authorized changes to how the credits are awarded. The updated policy creates an incentive for participants to progress to the lowest security risk level, where it is possible to earn more credits per month. Those who are assigned to the highest risk level, on the other hand, earn the least amount of credits. To learn more about the RREC program and whether you are eligible to earn credits, please contact a member of our dedicated criminal defense legal team today.
Security Risk Levels
Before assigning someone a security risk level, official assess a variety of factors when an offender is first admitted to a facility, including:
- His or her escape profile;
- The severity and violence of the offense;
- Whether the inmate has a history of violence;
- The length of the current sentence;
- Whether there are pending charges or detainers;
- The offender’s discipline history; and
- The other types of offenders in each security risk group.
Those who are assigned an overall risk level four can earn up to three days per month, while risk levels two and three can earn four days per month. Offenders assigned to the lowest overall risk level, which is level one, can earn five days off of their sentence every month. Offenders who are supervised in the community also fall under this category.
Those who are enrolled in the new program can take up to five days per month, or 60 days per year, off of their sentences. However, in order to earn these credits, inmates must:
- Adhere to their Offender Accountability Plan (OAP);
- Participate in pre-approved programs and educational classes; and
- Obey all prison regulations.
The programs available to eligible inmates are designed to assist with reentry into society and include:
- Substance abuse counseling;
- Mental health treatment;
- Parenting classes;
- GED classes; and
- Classes dedicated to teaching skills in a particular trade.
Those who participate in these classes can face penalties if they violate any prison regulations. For instance, inmates who receive a Class A Disciplinary Report lose at least 60 days of RREC. These reports are issued for a variety of reasons, including direct assaults on Department of Correction’s employees, creating a disturbance, participating in a riot, and arson. Class B Disciplinary Reports are less serious and result in the loss of ten days of RREC, as does violating parole.
Not everyone is eligible to participate in the RREC program. For example, defendants who are convicted of violent crimes and are ineligible for parole are disqualified from participating in the program. Other ineligible offenses include:
- Felony murder;
- Arson murder;
- Capital felony;
- Aggravated sexual assault; and
- Home invasion.
Further, credits do not apply to mandatory minimum sentences, although offenders who are sentenced to periods longer than the minimum can still work towards a reduction of their sentence.
Contact an Experienced Fairfield Criminal Defense Attorney
If you believe that you or a loved one may qualify for the RREC program, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner to speak with a dedicated Norwalk criminal defense lawyer who can explain your legal options. We are eager to assist you with your case immediately.