OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 442

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PREVENTION OF URBAN YOUTH DELINQUENCY AND VIOLENCE.

SUMMARY:

This bill:

1. authorizes $ 1. 5 million in general obligation bonds for the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioner for grants-in-aid for various purposes;

2. directs the commissioner, within available appropriations, to establish a Connecticut Young Adult Conservation Corps program for youths and young adults between ages 16 and 25; and

3. requires the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division (CSSD), within available appropriations, to collaborate with one or more Hartford community-based service providers to (a) inventory positive youth development programs and services in the city and (b) design a process for identifying at-risk youth to refer to them.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for the inventory and process design, July 1, 2012 for the bond authorization, and January 1, 2013 for the Young Adult Conservation Corps.

BOND AUTHORIZATION

The bill authorizes $ 1. 5 million in state general obligation bonds to DECD, which must use the proceeds for grants-in-aid for the following:

1. up to $ 500,000 to the Metropolitan Economic Development Commission for construction, improvements, repairs, renovations, and land acquisition to create elderly housing;

2. up to $ 500,000 to the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center for construction, improvements, repairs, renovations, and land acquisition to convert the former Northwest-Jones School to a Hartford cultural center; and

3. up to $ 500,000 to Catholic Charities of Hartford for construction, improvements, repairs, renovations, and land acquisition to create affordable housing and supportive services.

CONNECTICUT YOUNG ADULT CONSERVATION CORPS

The bill requires the DECD commissioner, within available appropriations, to establish a Connecticut Young Adult Conservation Corps program (similar to the former federal Young Adult Conservation Corps) to employ youth and young adults at those organizations described above that are “operational” and have received DECD funding.

Under the bill, the head of a participating organization must set aside at least 10% of all positions for “employable” conservation corps members. The set-aside starts in the fiscal year following the year in which the organization receives a grant and must continue for a total of five fiscal years. The commissioner can grant an organization an extension of time to comply with these requirements based on good cause.

Audits and Legal Actions

The bill allows the DECD commissioner to audit the financial, corporate, and business records of participating organizations to determine if they are complying with program requirements. It authorizes the attorney general to sue any organization that fails to set aside the requisite percentage of jobs. He may seek to bring the organization into compliance with program rules or, alternatively, recover the reasonable amount of wages that it would have paid corps members had it carried out its obligations.

Reports

The DECD commissioner must submit reports to the legislature that include program assessments and evaluations. The first report is due by December 1 after the fiscal year in which the grants-in-aid were distributed; the remainder are due by December 1 of each of the next four years.

SERVICE INVENTORY

Under the bill, the CSSD must collaborate, within available appropriations, with one or more private providers that serve children and families and are located in Hartford to inventory city programs and services that promote positive youth development and reduce the number of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. (It is unclear how the provider or providers will be chosen. )

The inventory must indicate the types of services the programs provide, including:

1. screening and assessment;

2. crisis intervention;

3. family mediation;

4. educational evaluations and advocacy;

5. mental health treatment and services, including gender-specific, trauma treatment and services;

6. resiliency skills building;

7. access to positive social activities;

8. short-term respite care; and

9. access to services available to children in the juvenile justice system.

Report

The bill requires the chief court administrator to submit a report by February 1, 2013 to the Judiciary Committee. It must specify the programs that have been inventoried and the process designed for identifying at-risk youth and making referrals.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

34

Nay

9

(03/26/2012)