Lawlor, former lawmaker now in Malloy’s budget office, gets $23 million on to the State Bond Commission agenda

 Governor Dannel P. Malloy today defended his planned $8 million investment in upgrades to the criminal justice system scheduled for next week’s State Bond Commission. The issue dates back to 2008, when lawmakers were stumbling over each other to try to react to the Cheshire home invasion that left a mother and her two daughters murder victims. Finally, the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS), will link together different agencies so they can share information on offenders electronically.

“These critical reforms were the result of input from the state’s top police, prosecutors, victim advocates and others who were asked what tools they needed to send repeat violent offenders to prison for as long as possible,” Malloy said in a statement today.  “Not only will it have a public safety impact by increasing the ability for crime officials to send files to each other, but after its implementation will begin saving the state money through efficiencies – a great example of how the state can do more with less. ”

Lawlor, the former Judiciary Committee chairman, said in the same statement that the system is a long time in fruition. “Implementation of the system will allow police, court officials, prosecutors, probation and parole officers, and prison administrators to create a centralized database on offenders – including electronic files such as audio and video – that can be instantly updated, accessed and utilized when officials need to make important decisions on the fate of offenders as they move through the system,” said Lawlor, who is undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning in the Office of Policy and Management. “Giving one hand the ability to know what the other is doing is critical when dealing with offenders, and we must provide our state’s frontline criminal justice professionals the tools to ensure that the system works to its greatest ability.”

An additional $15 million is also on the bond agenda to replace the 30-year-old computerized inmate tracking system in the Dept. of Corrections.“The infrastructure to modernize the woefully outdated, inadequate system of documenting these types of criminal files is long overdue and over the long-term will create the kinds of efficiencies that we need to begin making in state government,” Malloy said.