History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

   
Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

4.6-5  Escape in the First Degree -- § 53a-169

Revised to December 1, 2007

Note:  This statute has seven subsections defining the circumstances of escape.  Subsections (a) (1), (2), (3) and (6) involve an actual escape from a place of confinement; subsections (a) (4) and (5) involve a failure to return to an institution from an authorized absence; subsection (a) (7) involves leaving the statute while under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Review Board.  This instruction is therefore divided into 3 parts.

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with escape in the first degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of escape in the first degree if (he/she) <insert as appropriate:>

  • escapes from:

    • a correctional institution. 

    • any public or private, nonprofit halfway house, group home or mental health facility or community residence to which (he/she) was transferred and (he/she) is in the custody of the commissioner of correction or is required to be returned to the custody of said commissioner upon (his/her) release from such facility.

    • a work detail or school on the premises of the correctional institution. 

    • a hospital for mental illness in which (he/she) has been confined by court order. 

  • fails to return from:

  • an authorized furlough.

  • an authorized work release or education release. 

  • while under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, but not confined to a hospital for mental illness, (he/she) leaves the state without authorization of the board.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.  Subsections (a) (1), (2), (3), or (6)

Element 1 - Confinement
The first element is that the defendant was confined to <include as appropriate:>

  • a correctional institution.

  • a public or private, nonprofit halfway house, group home or mental health facility or community residence to which (he/she) was transferred and (he/she) is (in the custody of the commissioner of correction / is required to be returned to the custody of said commissioner upon (his/her) release from such facility).  

  • a work detail or school on the premises of a correctional institution.  Premises of a correctional institution includes the grounds and buildings of the correctional institution.

  • a hospital for mental illness by court order. 

A "correctional institution" is any correctional facility administered by the commissioner of correction.1

Element 2 - Escaped
The second element is that the defendant escaped from that institution.   Escape means to voluntarily leave or depart from. 

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was confined to <insert name and type of facility> and 2) the defendant escaped from that institution.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of escape in the first degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

2.  Subsections (a) (4) or (5)

Element 1 - Authorized release
The first element is that the defendant was on <insert as appropriate>:

  • a furlough

  • a work release

  • an education release

authorized by the commissioner of correction. 

Element 2 - Failed to return
The second element is that defendant failed to return to <insert name of facility>.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was on an authorized <insert type of leave> and failed to return to <insert name of facility>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of escape in the first degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

3.  Subsection (a) (7)

Element 1 - Jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board
The first element is that the defendant was under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, but not confined to a hospital for mental illness. 

Element 2 - Left the state
The second element is that the defendant left the state of Connecticut without authorization from the board.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board and 2) the defendant left the state of Connecticut without the board's authorization.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of escape in the first degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
_______________________________________________________

1 General Statutes § 53a-168 defines "correctional institution" for purposes of this offense.

Commentary

"The unifying overall theme of § 53a-169 is that an individual will risk punishment for 'escape' for an unauthorized departure from, or failure to return to, whatever may be designated as his place of incarceration or confinement."  State v. Lubus, 216 Conn. 402, 409 (1990).  Failure to report to a supervisory officer, even if on multiple occasions, may not be punished as an escape.  State v. Woods, 234 Conn. 301, 311 (1995).  "While failure to report may be evidence that the defendant has left his designated place of confinement, it is not enough, standing alone, to prove an unauthorized physical departure from the designated place of confinement.  Such a departure is necessary for there to be an 'escape' within the meaning of § 53a-169 (a) (2)."  Id.; see also State v. Bember, 39 Conn. App. 407, 411 (1995).

Illegality of the confinement is not a defense.  State v. Kyles, 169 Conn. 438, 441 (1975).
 


 

Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQ's | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Policies and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2011, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch