Sen. Fasano Applauds Senate Passage of Bill Addressing Juvenile Car Thefts

May 9, 2019

Bill Establishes a Diversionary Program, Seeks to Identify Cause of Uptick in Crime

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) applauded the State Senate’s unanimous passage of a bipartisan bill that seeks to address a rash of crime involving juvenile car thefts that has resulted in injury and death in towns and cities across the state.

“The questions we have heard over and over again are what is causing this and how can we help steer these kids away from crime. Passing this bill will help us find those answers,” said Sen. Fasano. “This bill reflects a truly collaborative approach, involving input from Democrats, Republicans, the Division of Public Defender Services, the state’s Child Advocate, and the Chief State’s Attorney. I am very thankful and deeply appreciative of the hard work so many people put in to developing this bill and ensuring all perspectives and ideas were brought to the table.”

As amended, Senate Bill 504 establishes a diversionary program to provide wraparound services and resources to rehabilitate and redirect youthful offenders charged with auto theft. The bill requires the state examine what could be causing the uptick in crime. It also allows for juveniles to participate in a diversionary program up to two times. Should any future convictions occur, the courts would be able to detain any such juvenile offender as defined in the bill. Upon completion of the diversionary program, the court may dismiss charges. The bill also requires the Judicial Branch to annually examine data relating to the juveniles who participate in the program to analyze outcomes.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.