February 26, 2013

The Division of Criminal Justice respectfully recommends the Committee take NO ACTION on S.B. No. 939, An Act Concerning a Registry of Criminal Offenders Whose Victims are Elderly. While the Division believes that the intent of this legislation may be laudable, its wording is somewhat ambiguous. If the bill were to be applied as we suspect is the intention, its implementation would require a substantial commitment of resources that the Division simply does not have.

S.B. No. 939 would require the Chief State’s Attorney to establish a registry of persons convicted of crimes against the elderly that were prosecuted on and after January 1, 2013, by the office of the Chief State’s Attorney. It should be noted that only a very small number of the criminal cases prosecuted in the State of Connecticut are prosecuted by the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney; the vast majority are prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s offices in each of the 13 Judicial Districts.

Thus, if the bill is to be implemented as read, it would be of limited value since it would apply to only the very small number of cases prosecuted by the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. This would include Medicaid Fraud cases, Workers’ Compensation Fraud cases and cases prosecuted by our Statewide Prosecution Bureau. These cases represent a very small fraction of the overall caseload, the bulk of which is prosecuted by the State’s Attorneys’ offices.

If the intent of the bill is to provide a more expansive public listing of individuals convicted of committing crimes against the elderly, it would appear that the registry would apply to the Division of Criminal Justice as a whole and not only the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. Such a registry would indeed be a massive undertaking requiring personnel and likely technical capabilities that the Division of Criminal Justice simply does not have. Such a registry would include potentially hundreds of cases each year where the underlying data simply is not readily available or easily generated. Our Information Technology Unit consists of a mere five individuals who provide IT support to more than 400 employees in approximately 40 locations throughout the state. These dedicated employees are already stretched beyond the limit and simply would not have the time or resources to implement this bill and establish and maintain a registry that would be of any real value to the public.

In closing, the Division is appreciative of the Committee’s desire to protect the elderly and provide additional public information about crimes against the elderly. Given present budgetary constraints, the Division believes the resources that would be necessary to establish and maintain the registry envisioned in S.B. No. 939 would be more appropriately utilized in the support of existing programs for the investigation and prosecution of crimes against elderly and other victims.

The Division wishes to thank the Committee for providing this opportunity to provide input on this legislation. We would be happy to provide any additional information the Committee might require or to answer any questions you might have. Thank you.