Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6982

Special Act No. 05-11

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FUTURE OF THE CONNECTICUT JUVENILE TRAINING SCHOOL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a critical response team to make recommendations concerning the reorganization and operation of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School. The critical response team shall consist of twenty-five members as follows: (1) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee; (2) the Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, the director of the Juvenile Services Bureau of the Department of Children and Families, or the director's designee, and one additional representative of the Department of Children and Families designated by said commissioner who shall be knowledgeable regarding the treatment and rehabilitation of children and youths; (3) the Chief State's Attorney, or the Chief State's Attorney's designee; (4) the Chief Public Defender, or the Chief Public Defender's designee; (5) the mayor of the city of Middletown, or the mayor's designee; (6) four members appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be a representative of the Department of Education, one of whom shall be a representative of the Office of the Child Advocate, one of whom shall be a member of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School advisory group, and one of whom shall be a representative of the labor organization representing the employees of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School who are health care workers; (7) seven members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives as follows: (A) Two members, one of whom shall be a representative of a community-based nonprofit organization that is a residential treatment facility and one of whom shall be a representative of a community-based nonprofit organization that is not a residential treatment facility; (B) two members, each of whom shall be the parent of a child diagnosed with mental health needs and having a juvenile record of adjudication; (C) two members, each of whom shall be a member of the General Assembly and at least one of whom represents the residents of the area immediately surrounding the Connecticut Juvenile Training School; and (D) one member who shall be a representative of the Commission on Children; and (8) seven members appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate as follows: (A) One member who shall be a representative of The University of Connecticut School of Law; (B) one member who shall be a member of the General Assembly; (C) one member who shall be a judge of the Superior Court having expertise in juvenile matters; (D) one member who shall be a child psychiatrist specializing in trauma-based treatment; and (E) three members who shall be representatives of the labor organizations representing the employees of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School. All appointments to the critical response team shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, shall convene the first meeting of the critical response team not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section. The critical response team shall select cochairpersons from among its members, provided one cochairperson shall be a member of the General Assembly or an appointee of either the speaker of the House of Representatives or the president pro tempore of the Senate and one cochairperson shall be a representative of the executive branch or an appointee of the Governor.

(b) The critical response team shall have as its primary purpose the possible reorganization of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for educational or health care use and excluding its use as an adult correctional facility. If such reorganization is determined by the critical response team to be in the best interest of juveniles, the critical response team shall have as its secondary purpose the development of recommendations for relocating the children currently placed in the Connecticut Juvenile Training School to more appropriate regional facilities.

Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) Not later than January 1, 2006, the critical response team established under section 1 of this act shall submit a report of its recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and human services, and the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. Such report shall include: (1) A proposed design and demonstration for the restructured and reorganized Connecticut Juvenile Training School, as appropriate; (2) a timetable for relocating children placed in the Connecticut Juvenile Training School to more appropriate regional facilities; (3) recommendations for the utilization or redeployment of the employees of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School; and (4) a summary of the policy recommendations of the critical response team and a list of such policy recommendations prioritized by order of importance.

Sec. 3. (Effective from passage) Not later than August 1, 2005, the Commissioner of Children and Families shall submit copies of the feasibility plan prepared for the Governor concerning the future of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, including its closing and the transfer of its students to community-based, residential or other types of treatment programs, to the chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies and the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children.

Vetoed July 11, 2005