Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Connecticut's purpose clause, entitled Goals of [the] juvenile justice system, has elements of the BARJ model, as it mentions individualized accountability, probation treatment plans, promotion of community-based programs to minimize the depth and duration of system involvement and secure confinement for juveniles who present a danger to the community. Phrases found from the Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997) were also noted. Different from most states, the statutory section mentions gender specific programs and post release services.

CT ST §46b-121h

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and diversion decision is at the discretion of the juvenile court intake officer.

In Connecticut, law enforcement may refer juveniles to a diversion program or the Juvenile Review Board, but upon arrest or when detained, a referral must be made to the court.

Upon receipt of a delinquency-related complaint from any person, the court Juvenile Probation Supervisor or designee (JPO) conducts the preliminary investigation and decides whether to ‘assess and discharge’ and close the matter, handle the matter informally, or authorize filing a verified petition. Prosecutors (DA’s) may make referrals to JPO for non-judicial handling. Non-judicial dispositions can go for up to 180 days with consent of the juvenile and parent/s, and conditions can include: informal probation (non-judicial supervision), community service, a court-administered diversion program, or a referral to a youth service bureau for contracted human service or diversion programs. JPO can dismiss the complaint after successful completion of the supervision program.

Once a petition is filed as authorized by the JPO, for less serious allegations, the court can suspend delinquency proceedings and continue the matter for the juvenile’s voluntary participation in alcohol or drug dependency treatment (up to one year, one time), school violence program (up to one year), or family violence mediation program (all parties must consent). JPO monitors compliance and submits a report to the judge, usually by motion. The judge must formally dismiss the petition or the prosecutor may proceed. If a family with service needs petition is filed, the judicial authority may permit the matter to be continued for up to 6 months (plus a 3 month extension, for cause) while services are received. If it appears at the conclusion of the continuance that the matter has been satisfactorily resolved, the petition can be dismissed.

Statutory time limits for pre- & post-petition court diversions exist.

In Connecticut, pre-petition court diversions, or 'non-judicial dispositions' can go for up to 180 days. Once the petition is filed, some delinquency-related proceedings can be suspended for up to a year and family with service needs allegations can be continued up to 6 months, plus a 3 month extension, pending success.

Courtroom shackling, 2015

Restricted by legislature

In Connecticut, Act 15-183 (eff. 10/1/15) prohibits routine use of mechanical restraints on pre-adjudicated detained juveniles. Restraints must be removed prior to and throughout proceedings or court ordered in accordance with Judicial Branch written policy. The Judicial Branch policy was implemented before the statute (4/15), and includes comprehensive procedures for escort, transportation, and sharing recommendations from the facility/transport to the judge. Very detailed criteria is listed for decision-making by concern, offense, restraint type, etc.

Competency, 2015

Connecticut has juvenile statute and court rules that align with the Dusky standard to prevent delinquency-related conviction, adjudication, or disposition while the youth is not competent. Timelines are specified for review intervals and actions when competency cannot be restored. Youth can be transferred to the (adult) criminal docket even when believed to be incompetent.

  • No juvenile standard

  • Juvenile standard is the adult standard

  • Juvenile justice standard exists

  • JJ standard includes developmental immaturity

Sex offender registration, 2015

Does not register

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Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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