The lockdown at Manson has advocates worried that incarcerated youth aren’t getting the services they need – or being vaccinated.
The adult prison system is not an appropriate place for minors, according to the Office of the Child Advocate.
State officials will weigh a recommendation to create a new state agency for minors in the juvenile justice system.
Connecticut home-school advocates and parents on Wednesday called an ongoing Office of the Child Advocate investigation into home education discriminatory and an invasion of privacy. The OCA opened the investigation after an autistic home-schooled child died of neglect.
Connecticut doesn’t have a way to insure the safety or well-being of children withdrawn from school for homeschooling, the state’s Child Advocate Sarah Eagan told lawmakers Thursday.
A 17-year-old Hartford youth with autism died from starvation, dehydration and child abuse in February, just weeks after the Department of Children and Families closed its case file on him, an investigative report released Tuesday by the state’s child advocate said. The report criticized several state agencies it said had not taken sufficient action, including DCF, the Hartford Public Schools and the juvenile court.
Doctors determined that an infant placed by the Department of Children and Families with relatives had been malnourished for months, had weeks-old breaks in bones in both arms, a brain bleed and numerous other injuries. A state watchdog report released Tuesday called the case an “utter collapse of all safeguards,” while DCF says it was an outlier.
The debate over how to best protect children goes back decades, with advocates on one side arguing that keeping families together whenever possible is better for children. But others push back, saying that approach is applied too broadly and keeps children in dangerous environments.
Under fire over questions about how youths are treated while incarcerated — and facing calls from advocates to close the state’s juvenile jails in Middletown — Department of Children and Families Commissioner Wednesday reaffirmed her commitment to keeping the locked facilities she runs open.
In a scathing 68-page report released July 22, the Office of the Child Advocate reported on its findings after an investigation of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School over the past 18 months. OCA conducted site visits and interviewed staff and residents; viewed videotapes; and analyzed facility reports, educational attendance data and treatment plans. The youth prison model embodied at CJTS can’t be fixed. CJTS should be closed and here’s why:
An expert’s review of DCF’s locked facilities for juvenile offenders highlights the successes of a juvenile justice system that incarcerates fewer youth than 10 years ago, but also raises questions about the adequacy of mental health services provided for at-risk youths both in and outside of jail.
“There are girls that really very easily can fill these 10 beds,” said Joette Katz, commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families.