Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey (R,I,C-Peru) today announced her support for new state legislation that would ensure real prison time for repeat criminal offenders. The new bill is commonly known as the Chronic Criminal Act.
“What I am supporting would help keep chronic offenders where they belong – behind bars – and not in the community,” Duprey said.
The Chronic Criminal Act, if enacted, would establish the new crime of aggravated criminal conduct, a Class E felony. An offender who is convicted of a Class A misdemeanor after having been convicted of three or more qualifying misdemeanors or felonies (within the previous ten years) would be punished as a Class E felon, if the act becomes law. Class E felonies have sentences of up to four years in state prison. The new bill also allows criminal history records to be used in felony hearings and grand jury proceedings.
“Normally, repeat low-level criminals serve only minimal county jail time. The fines imposed on them are too small to deter further offenses; so these criminals often continue their life of crime without any real punishment for the crimes they commit,” the Assemblywoman said.
Many sources have noted that repeat offenders often continue to harass victims, increase business costs, and regularly drain the resources of the police, probation, and the courts.
“People have said ‘enough is enough’,” Duprey said.
This new legislation has to be addressed by the state Assembly, state Senate and the Governor before it becomes law. The Chronic Criminal Act is supported by the New York State Association of Police Chiefs.