Sen. Kissel: “Ignoring the problem of juvenile crime will not make it go away.”

March 14, 2022

For Immediate Release:


Sen. Kissel Speaks Out in Support of Proposal to Address CT Juvenile Crime

“Ignoring the problem of juvenile crime will not make it go away.”

Sen. John A. Kissel (R- Enfield),

the Ranking Senator on the Judiciary Committee, today spoke out in favor of the Senate Republican proposal A Better Way to a Safer Connecticut, a legislative package which addresses the increase in juvenile crime, improve crime response, remove barriers to intervention services, and address the root causes of crime.

“Ignoring the problem of juvenile crime will not make it go away,” Sen. Kissel said. “Those who perpetrate criminal acts which hurt people – including juveniles- need to know there will be serious, swift and just consequences for breaking the law.

“The pendulum has gone too far to the left, and this Senate Republican proposal will bring it back to the middle. It was crafted after many months of outreach work communicating with advocates, community leaders, law enforcement, social workers, and other stakeholders. We hope our holistic approach to addressing juvenile crime in Connecticut will receive bipartisan support.”

The package of proposals raised by the Judiciary Committee in Senate Bill 365 An Act Concerning Juvenile and Criminal Justice Reforms includes the following components:

  • Support for community programs focused on trauma, truancy, mediation, and mentorship.
  • Increase information sharing and modify standards around detention orders.
  • Require next day court for juveniles to expedite access to services.
  • Ensure current programs are effective in addressing recidivism rates.
  • Assessment of services within the criminal justice system, including assessment of all programs for juveniles and adults and an assessment of the recent transfer of services from the Department of Children & Families (DCF) to Court Support Services Division (CSSD).
  • Increase 6 hour hold limit to give more time to enable a judge to review and make a determination on whether to detain.
  • Revise transfer to adult court for high risk repeat offenders with confidentiality of youthful offender docket.
  • Mandatory fingerprinting of juveniles arrested for a felony, a Class A Misdemeanor, a charge resulting from loss of life or serious physical injury, a sexual assault, a serious juvenile offense, or an offense involving use of a firearm.

In addition to the above policies, A Better Way to a Safer Connecticut also includes the following policies:

  • Workforce development programs to better connect young people to opportunities and careers
  • Partnerships with schools and local businesses to create a pipeline to careers
  • Summer jobs program to give youth the ability to know where their summer employment will be, to select a field of interest to them, and to have a known source of stable income in the summer months.
  • Vocational program recruitment to ensure Connecticut’s vocational-technical high schools are within reach for youth in urban communities and are being discussed with students at an early age.
  • Safe housing policies including ending hidden ownership, studying the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program to evaluate any disparate impacts the program may have on the development of at-risk children and youth or families, and establishing a housing authority resident quality of life improvement grant program.
  • Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Pipeline Pilot. A pilot program involving local universities with the goal of recruiting individuals to pursue law enforcement careers at the state and local level.
  • Explorer Program Expansion. Expanding successful “explorer” programs by creating a high school elective program focused on learning about law enforcement in which a student can earn credit to graduate. These programs have been successful in multiple communities in building interaction and involvement with young people and officers to build better community relationships.
  • Revisions to the 2020 police bill focused on refining the legislation to address concerns raised while also preserving its core intended goals.
    Allow for use of stop sticks (tire-deflation device) used by law enforcement to safely and quickly stop a vehicle.
  • Funding for Social/Data Intelligence. Investigations and proactive policing have become very much data driven and intelligence driven in recent years. Social media and online data can help officers prevent crime before situations escalate. This proposal seeks to ensure funding is available to assist police departments in budgeting for the modernization of intelligence tools.

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