State senator wants change in law that let accused murderer out of prison

State Senator Jason Welch (R-31) released a statement Wednesday after Republican Senators called for a change to the Connecticut’s flawed Risk Reduction Earned Credit program.

On Tuesday, a press release from Welch explained, a judge in New Britain arraigned Arthur Hapgood, a beneficiary of the RREC, for murdering his infant niece. Hapgood was released 233 days early after he failed multiple drug tests and continued to demonstrate disturbing behavior while incarcerated.

“Justice is underway for a little girl from Bristol whose life was senselessly cut short,” said Welch in his news release. “No policy change can retrieve a life that has already been destroyed. However, the state has an obligation to change a system which released a dangerous felon, who obviously had not been rehabilitated, before he served his full term. Criminals are taken off our streets for a reason. They should stay off our streets, and the State of Connecticut should keep its promise to the victims and their families.”

The RREC is the state’s latest attempt to reduce recidivism, said the news release from Welch’s office. The program launched in 2011. Many risk reduction credit recipients have gone on to commit heinous crimes shortly after release, according to Welch’s news release. Republican Senators are looking to address this public safety concern.

The 31st Senatorial District includes Bristol, Plainville, Plymouth, Thomaston, and Harwinton.