March 20, 2001
DRUG CRIMES NEAR SCHOOLS, DAY CARE CENTERS, AND PUBLIC HOUSING
By: George Coppolo, Chief Attorney
Dan Duffy, Principal Analyst
Jack Burriesci, Legislative Fellow
You asked us to try to create maps of some Connecticut cities to show where mandatory minimum penalties for certain drug offenses would apply. The offenses involve the sale or possession of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia within 1,500 feet of elementary and secondary schools, child day care centers, or public housing projects.
We prepared maps for the following cities: Bridgeport, Hartford, New London, Norwalk, Stamford, and Waterbury. (We already provided you with a map for New Haven prepared by the New Haven Police Department in OLR Report 2001-R-0016).
Each map shows the location of each elementary and secondary school, licensed child day care center, and public housing project. Around each location is a circle showing a 1,500 foot radius. Unfortunately, we do not have access to files showing property boundaries. Thus, the maps show the radius from the center of the property instead of from its property lines. As a result, the maps underestimate the areas within which enhanced penalties apply.
Even with this underestimation, the maps show that major portions of each city are covered by these drug laws and the mandatory minimum penalties associated with them.
Following is a brief summary of these drug laws and their penalties and the map for each city. We have also enclosed larger versions of these maps which may show the 1,500 foot zones more clearly.
Three laws establish mandatory minimum penalties for committing certain drug offenses within 1,500 feet of schools, child day care centers, and public housing projects.
The first is CGS § 21-278a(b). It imposes a mandatory minimum three years in prison for selling or possessing with intent to sell illegal drugs in, on, or within 1,500 feet of property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, a public housing project, or a licensed child day care center that is identified as such by a sign posted in a conspicuous place. This penalty is in addition to any penalty imposed for the underlying sale or possession offense.
The second is CGS § 21a-279(d). It imposes a mandatory minimum two year sentence for possession of illegal drugs in, on, or within 1,500 feet of property comprising (1) a licensed child day care center that is identified as such by a sign posted in a conspicuous place or (2) a public or private elementary or secondary school, by someone who is not enrolled as a student there.
The third is CGS § 21a-267(c). It imposes a one-year mandatory minimum sentence for possessing drug paraphernalia in, on, or within 1,500 feet of property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school by someone who is not enrolled as a student there.