Gov. Dannel P. Malloy came to the Citadel of Love, a black church in the North End of Hartford, on Thursday to roll out “Second Chance 2.0,” a second round of proposals to negate the permanence of criminal mistakes, especially those committed by the young. He will ask the legislature next week to curtail bail for minor crimes, treat many defendants younger than 21 as juveniles and broaden the reach of a record-expunging youthful offender law.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is to present details on his plans for criminal justice reform Thursday in Hartford, but he shared his thoughts on bail reform and treating criminal defendants as juveniles until they turn 21 at Harvard. A preview on what’s to come this week.
Democratic legislators Tuesday retreated from a plan to move legislatively toward closing the controversial state-run jail for young offenders and decided to leave that decision up to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Changes in sentencing policies for young offenders mean fewer inmates than ever are living at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, though several youths on any given day remain locked up because there is nowhere else for them to go.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly are to be commended for their 2015 “Second Chance Society” legislation, reversing racist laws that filled our jails with nonviolent drug users, most of them African-American and Latino. But it is ill-advised to pursue announced policies emanating from that corrective action; especially plans for secret trials of defendants in their early 20s.
In light of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposal to “Raise the Age” of juveniles to 20, it is time to recognize once and for all that Connecticut’s juvenile delinquent offenders should be sent to the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and not to the state’s youth prison, Manson Youth Institute. Contrary to the Office of the Child Advocate’s misleading and politically-charged claim that we are abusing our residents, the truth of the matter is that the residents of CJTS receive a comprehensive, intensive, and high-quality array of services from dedicated and passionate professionals.
Before “raising the age” again, the State of Connecticut and its key justice agencies — DCF, DOC and the Judicial Branch including the Court Support Services Division — need to participate in an honest independent look at all of our current organizational structures for adjudicated youth. The purpose of this external review would be to examine creation of an independent Juvenile Justice Authority that is science-informed, takes a two-generation approach and is anchored in “evidence-based” policy, practice and programs. Clearly what we have now is not working well. Besides that, it is really expensive.
In a major policy speech Friday at a criminal-justice symposium, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed overhauling Connecticut’s bail system and making the state the first in the U.S. to treat defendants as juveniles up to age 20. Both proposals could significantly lower incarceration rates.
The Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Unit should close. Institutions of this sort, by their very nature, inevitably depersonalize children, engender abuse and fail to address public safety. I know because I used to run one.
Staff from CJTS speak out against reports on conditions inside the state-run jails A state investigation that uncovered improper use of restraint and seclusion at Connecticut’s juvenile correction facilities left out one important element, front line staff members say: their voices. “We cannot and will not be portrayed as the enemy or the abuser of […]
Each year about 3,000 children enter Connecticut’s juvenile justice system after being convicted of breaking the law. Here, in graphical form, is a historical overview of what happens to youth after they are found guilty, including details on the jails where about 200 youths each year are sent to live.
Connecticut has made dramatic advances in providing help for children exposed to trauma, in some cases, emerging as a national leader in addressing a problem that research has linked to significant mental and physical health consequences. But more work is needed, according to a report released Tuesday.
Fourteen months have passed since Jennie was violently taken down from behind as she walked from one end of the state-run jail for girls to the other. On Thursday, concerned lawmakers on the legislative panel that oversees juvenile justice wanted to know: Where is Jennie now, and how is she doing? And do the jails, which house juveniles convicted of a crime, improve their behavior after they leave?
The recent report from the Office of Child Advocate states that the vast majority of children and youth at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and Pueblo have “histories of trauma, abuse, neglect, complex psychiatric disorders and special education needs.”
It then goes on to detail the use of isolation and restraints as behavior management strategies or for discipline even in non-emergency situations. I want to start by saying those charged with rehabilitating and treating this vulnerable population face difficulties and challenges. But are cycles of punishment that go nowhere and only harm our youth any better? I say no, and I offer an alternative: operating from an understanding of the impact of trauma.
At the end of a grueling three-hour hearing on Aug. 21, state Rep. Toni Walker, chair of Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee, laid the issue on the table. Referring to the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, Connecticut’s only state-run youth corrections facility for boys, she asked, “The real question is, does Connecticut need CJTS? [Does the facility provide] the level of care that we really require in this state? Is CJTS the best method of delivering the needs for that population?” These questions are being hotly debated in Connecticut thanks to new revelations of a rash of suicide attempts and pervasive use of physical restraints and seclusion, both at CJTS and in the small Pueblo unit that opened nearby last year to serve troubled girls.