At the end of this third month of a worldwide pandemic that has cost 100,467 American lives, including more than 4,100 deaths in Connecticut, one of the most important and difficult challenges we are facing as a society may well be a test of our collective character. In Connecticut, in order to pass this test and meet this challenge, we must put the most vulnerable at the front of the line.
With the state’s new fiscal reality as background, the Children’s League of Connecticut has offered a number of policy based solutions meant to improve the quality of life for youth and families served by the Connecticut juvenile justice system. In many cases these concepts will result in lower costs to taxpayers and in all cases we believe our suggestions will result in better outcomes for youth and their families — which should be everyone’s goal.
For too long the debate over the care of children and young adults in Connecticut with behavioral health needs, developmental disabilities or those in the juvenile justice system has been centered on the wrong issue. Important time, money, and other resources have been spent debating the future of specific programs, rather than focusing on how best to provide care and treatment that will meet individual needs.