Court Cafe Juvenile Matters
Relevant Statues & Bills
An Act Concerning the Age of A Child for Purposes of Jurisdiction in Juvenile Matters
House Bill No. 6567 / Raised Bill No. 5782 / LCO No. 2872
This bill sets a new policy direction for dealing with 16 and 17 year olds as juveniles instead of placing them in the adult court. Connecticut is only one of three states that designate 16 and 17 year olds as adults in the criminal justice system for behavior that is not criminal, but behavior that is defined as defiant, troubled or truant. The bill establishes a planning committee to review all matters, including funding, necessary to implement a sweeping change the current system and move it up two years to age 17 years old. The Committee, which includes the Chief Court Administrator, the Commissioner of DCF, the Commissioner of Correction, the Chief State's Attorney, and the Commission on Children, shall report their findings by January 15, 2004.
The bill also establishes a pilot program in Middletown that would give the Probate Court jurisdiction over administering youth in crisis cases for youth who are not truant. The pilot hopes to develop more community based programs with the Probate Court to prevent juveniles from going to the adult court.
The bill also outlines specific protocols that local police jurisdictions must follow to deal more effectively with youth in crisis. The emphasis is on getting appropriate services and placement rather than immediate detention and sanctions. It directs that efforts must be made to place the child with a responsible adult and the youth may be referred to the Probate Court instead of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters. In extreme cases, the Court can direct the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend a youth in crisis license for a time not to exceed one year.
Opposition to the Bill:
Testimony of Chief State’s Attorney Christopher L. Morano
Favorable Change of Reference from House to Committee on Appropriations on March 28 2006. Favorable Change of Reference from Senate to Committee on Appropriations on March 29 2006. Joint Favorable Substitue by Appropriations Committee on April 04 2006. Bill was filed with Legislative Commissioners' Office on April 04 2006.
An Act Concerning Justice for All Children
Raised H.B. No. 5700
An Act Prohibiting the Placement of Female Juvenile Offenders at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School
House Bill No. 5564 / Public Act No. 04-152
An Act Concerning the Transfer to Juvenile Court of the cases of Children Charged with Certain Sexual Offenses
Substitute House Bill No. 5444 / Public Act No. 04-148
An Act Establishing a Plan of Community-Based Services for Adolescent Females Involved in the Juvenile Court System
Substitute House Bill No. 5366 / Special Act No. 04-5
Opposition to the Bill: Darlene Dunbar, Commissioner, Department of Children and Families (DCF) testified that the Department has consistently opposed the incarceration of youth solely because of status offenses. There appears to be no resources to be made available for the planning requirement in this bill. The bill also does not include the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch, an important participant in providing services to female status offenders.
Approved May 10, 2004 / Effective July 1, 2004. The Commissioner of Children and Families, in consultation with the Court Support Services Division, the Commissioner of Social Services, the Child Advocate and providers of community based services, shall establish a plan for the development of a continuum of community based services for female juvenile status offenders and delinquents. Such services shall be designed to prevent the incarceration of such status offenders and delinquents. [Further Details]
An Act Concerning the State Prevention Council and Investment Priorities
For the first time state agencies are asked to work together to achieve specific goals to implement research-based, early intervention strategies that result in measurable outcomes. Outcomes include: increase in pregnant women and newborns who are healthy; decrease in the rate of child neglect and abuse; increase in children who are ready for school; and increase in children who succeed in school; decrease in children who are unsupervised after school; and increase in youth who choose healthy behaviors and become successful working adults; decrease in juvenile suicide; decrease in juvenile crime; and increase in access to health care and stable housing.