At the moment, there is just one prison in the entire state of Connecticut for juveniles who commit crimes that are not serious enough for the “adult” court system. That prison, however, is in the process of closing, leaving many wondering what will happen to the juveniles currently being held there and those who commit such offenses in the future.
The Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown is a high-security correctional facility designed to hold the most troubled boys in the state’s juvenile justice system. The juvenile delinquents committed to the center have not necessarily committed the worst crimes—those offenders are typically transferred to a standard or adult criminal court and prison system, as necessary. Instead, the boys are essentially the most in need of careful supervision, as many are dealing the effects of physical trauma, mental illness, drug abuse, and dysfunctional families.
A Changing Approach
The school is run by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), but due to a new law, the boys who would normally be sent there will be transferred from DCF to the care of the judicial branch beginning in July of this year. The problem, however, is that there is currently no place for the boys to go, and skeptics do not believe the issue will be resolved by July. The law gives the judicial branch access to DCF services and facilities—including the Juvenile Training School—until at least January 2019 when the transition is supposed to be complete.
Where Will Juveniles Go?
Presently, the judicial branch operates two high-security detention centers for young offenders, but neither is designed for long-term stays. They are used primarily to hold juvenile suspects while their court cases are pending. Reports indicate that the court system is now looking for non-profit providers willing to open juvenile programs across the state. Until such programs are up and running, the future of juvenile offenders is uncertain.
The Juvenile Training School took in its last new admissions just before the new year. DCF officials say the admissions lockdown was necessary for the sake of the children. The juveniles admitted to the school need at least six months of attention to address their various issues, according to DCF Commissioner Joette Katz. Accepting new youths between now and July, she said, is simply not in their best interests, especially with the coming changes.
Protecting Your Child’s Rights
If your son or daughter has been arrested and charged with a crime, it is important to seek qualified help immediately. Contact an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney to get the guidance you need. Call 860-290-8690 for a free consultation today.