OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6642

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CHILD NURSERY FACILITY AT THE CONNECTICUT CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, NIANTIC.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Department of Correction (DOC) commissioner, within available appropriations, to establish a nursery at the state's prison facility for women in Niantic (in practice called the York Correctional Institution). Under the bill, the nursery would allow infants born to women incarcerated while awaiting trial or sentenced to no more than 18 months in prison to be placed at the institution where he or she was delivered (but under DOC directives, births are scheduled to take place in hospitals, not DOC facilities).

The bill allows the DOC commissioner to set requirements for infant placement, including limiting eligibility to mothers who comply with program, education, counseling, and other requirements.

Current law requires the York facility's warden, with the DOC commissioner's approval, to adopt regulations in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for DCF placement of an infant within 60 days and, for an inmate awaiting trial or sentenced to up to one year in prison, direct placement from the delivery institution. The bill alternatively allows an infant to stay in the prison nursery for up to 18 months before DCF placement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013

BACKGROUND

DOC Administrative Directive 8.12

Under this directive, inmates are scheduled to give birth at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital or another designated hospital. The newborn is placed according to a plan developed by Lawrence and Memorial Hospital's social network professionals and DCF.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

43

Nay

1

(04/12/2013)