Substitute Senate Bill No. 1352

Public Act No. 99-259

An Act Establishing a School Violence Prevention Program.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (a) The court, upon motion of a child charged with an offense involving the use or threatened use of physical violence in or on the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school or at a school-sponsored activity as defined in subsection (h) of section 10-233a of the general statutes, may order the suspension of the delinquency proceedings for a period of one year and order the child to participate in a school violence prevention program during the period of suspension if the court, after consideration of information before it, finds that (1) the child presently needs and is likely to benefit from participation in a school violence prevention program, and (2) the suspension of the delinquency proceedings will advance the interests of justice.

(b) As a condition of eligibility for suspension of prosecution and placement in a school violence prevention program pursuant to this section, (1) the child shall agree to participate in a program of anger management and nonviolent conflict resolution consisting of at least eight group counseling sessions, and to satisfactorily complete such program, (2) the child shall agree to comply with any orders of the court, and (3) the parents or guardian of such child shall certify under penalty of false statement that, to the best of such parents' or guardian's knowledge and belief, neither such parent or guardian nor such child possesses any firearms, dangerous weapons, controlled substances or other property or materials the possession of which is prohibited by law or in violation of the law.

(c) The cost of participation in such program shall be paid by the parent or guardian of such child, except that no child shall be excluded from such program for inability to pay such cost provided (1) the parent or guardian of such child files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, and (2) the court enters a finding thereof.

(d) During the period of suspension, a child shall be placed under the supervision of a juvenile probation officer for placement in a school violence prevention program and such officer shall monitor the compliance of the child with the orders of the court including, but not limited to, maintaining contact with the child and officials of the child's school.

(e) If the court denies the motion for suspension of the delinquency proceedings, the juvenile prosecutor may proceed with the delinquency proceedings. Any order of the court granting or denying a motion for suspension of the delinquency proceedings shall not be deemed a final order for purposes of appeal.

(f) At any time before the end of the period of the suspension of the delinquency proceedings, but not later than one month before the end of the period of suspension, a juvenile probation officer shall notify the court of the impending conclusion of the suspension and submit a report on whether the child has satisfactorily completed the school violence prevention program and has complied with all other conditions of the suspension order imposed by the court.

(g) If the court, on motion of the child or on its own motion, finds that the child has satisfactorily completed the school violence prevention program and has complied with all other conditions of suspension, and one year has elapsed since the child was placed in such program, it may dismiss the charge for which the delinquency proceedings had been suspended. If the court denies the motion and terminates the suspension of the delinquency proceedings, the juvenile prosecutor may proceed with such proceedings.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (a) There shall be a school violence prevention program for students of a public or private secondary school charged with an offense involving the use or threatened use of physical violence in or on the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school or at a school-sponsored activity as defined in subsection (h) of section 10-233a of the general statutes. Upon application by any such person for participation in such program, the court shall, but only as to the public, order the court file sealed, provided such person states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under penalties of perjury that such person has never had such system invoked in such person's behalf and that such person has not been convicted of an offense involving the threatened use of physical violence in or on the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school or at a school-sponsored activity as defined in subsection (h) of section 10-233a of the general statutes, and that such person has not been convicted in any other state at any time of an offense the essential elements of which are substantially the same as such an offense.

(b) The court, after consideration of the recommendation of the state's attorney, assistant state's attorney or deputy assistant state's attorney in charge of the case, may, in its discretion, grant such application. If the court grants such application, it shall refer such person to the Bail Commission for assessment and confirmation of the eligibility of the applicant. The Bail Commission, in making its assessment and confirmation, may rely on the representations made by the applicant under oath in open court with respect to convictions in other states of offenses specified in subsection (a) of this section. As a condition of eligibility for participation in such program, the student and the parents or guardian of such student shall certify under penalty of false statement that, to the best of such person's knowledge and belief, such person does not possess any firearms, dangerous weapons, controlled substances or other property or materials the possession of which is prohibited by law or in violation of the law. Upon confirmation of eligibility, the defendant shall be referred to the Office of Alternative Sanctions for evaluation and placement in an appropriate school violence prevention program for one year.

(c) Any person who enters the program shall agree: (1) To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime, (2) to a waiver of the right to a speedy trial, (3) to participate in a school violence prevention program offered by a provider under contract with the Office of Alternative Sanctions pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, and (4) to successfully complete the assigned program. If the Bail Commission informs the court that the defendant is ineligible for the program and the court makes a determination of ineligibility or if the program provider certifies to the court that the defendant did not successfully complete the assigned program, the court shall order the court file to be unsealed, enter a plea of not guilty for such defendant and immediately place the case on the trial list.

(d) The Office of Alternative Sanctions shall monitor the defendant's participation in the assigned program and the defendant's compliance with the orders of the court including, but not limited to, maintaining contact with the student and officials of the student's school.

(e) If such defendant satisfactorily completes the assigned program and one year has elapsed since the defendant was placed in the program, such defendant may apply for dismissal of the charges against such defendant and the court, on reviewing the record of such defendant's participation in such program submitted by the Office of Alternative Sanctions and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If the defendant does not apply for dismissal of the charges against the defendant after satisfactorily completing the assigned program and one year has elapsed since the defendant was placed in the program, the court, upon receipt of the record of the defendant's participation in such program submitted by the Office of Alternative Sanctions, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss the charges.

(f) The cost of participation in such program shall be paid by the parent or guardian of such student, except that no student shall be excluded from such program for inability to pay such cost provided (1) the parent or guardian of such student files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, and (2) the court enters a finding thereof.

(g) The Office of Alternative Sanctions shall contract with service providers, develop standards and oversee appropriate school violence prevention programs to meet the requirements of this section.

(h) The school violence prevention program shall consist of at least eight group counseling sessions in anger management and nonviolent conflict resolution.

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2000.

Approved June 29, 1999

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