Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5700

February Session, 2006

 

LCO No. 2490

 

*02490_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING JUSTICE FOR ALL CHILDREN.

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

Section 1. Section 46b-133 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

(a) Nothing in this part shall be construed as preventing the arrest of a child, with or without a warrant, as may be provided by law, or as preventing the issuance of warrants by judges in the manner provided by section 54-2a, except that no child shall be taken into custody on such process except on apprehension in the act, or on speedy information, or in other cases when the use of such process appears imperative. Whenever a child is arrested and charged with a crime, such child may be required to submit to the taking of [his] such child's photograph, physical description and fingerprints. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 46b-124, as amended, the name, photograph and custody status of any child arrested for the commission of a capital felony or class A felony may be disclosed to the public.

(b) The Court Support Services Division, the Department of Children and Families, the Division of Public Defender Services, the Department of Public Safety and representatives from at least one local education agency and at least one municipal police department, with participation from interested community nonprofit agencies, shall: (1) Jointly develop and implement, in at least one pilot municipality or geographical area, objective race-neutral criteria for determining whether to detain a child within the juvenile justice system that shall (A) be based solely upon the risk to the community presented by the child, (B) not involve an interview with the child or the child's family, and (C) be developed in accordance with nationally recognized models created or made available by the Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative; and (2) after implementation of the criteria developed pursuant to this subsection, conduct an evaluation of juvenile detention admissions in the pilot municipality or geographical area to determine whether such criteria is objective and race-neutral and, if so, whether the use of such criteria results in children being detained only when they present a risk to the community. For the purposes of this subsection, "risk to the community" does not include the risk of committing misdemeanor offenses or committing actions that would lead to an adjudication under section 46b-149.

[(b)] (c) Whenever a child is brought before a judge of the Superior Court, such judge shall immediately have the case proceeded upon as a juvenile matter. Such judge may admit such child to bail or release [him] such child in the custody of [his] such child's parent or parents [, his] or guardian or some other suitable person to appear before the Superior Court when ordered. If detention becomes necessary or desirable, [the same] such detention shall be in the manner prescribed by this chapter.

[(c)] (d) Upon the arrest of any child by an officer, such officer may release [him] such child to the custody of [his] such child's parent or parents [,] or guardian or some other suitable person or agency or may immediately turn [him] such child over to a juvenile detention center. When a child is arrested for the commission of a delinquent act and the child is not placed in detention or referred to a diversionary program, an officer shall serve a written complaint and summons on the child and [his] such child's parent [,] or guardian or other person having control of the child. Such parent, guardian or other person shall execute a written promise to appear in court at the time and place specified in such summons. If any person so summoned wilfully fails to appear in court at the time and place so specified, the court may issue a warrant for the child's arrest or a capias to assure the appearance in court of such parent, guardian or other person. The court may punish for contempt, as provided in section 46b-121, any parent, guardian or other person so summoned who wilfully fails to appear in court at the time and place so specified.

[(d)] (e) The court or detention supervisor may turn such child over to a youth service program created for such purpose, if such course is practicable, or such child may be detained pending a hearing which shall be held on the business day next following [his] such child's arrest. No child shall be detained after such hearing or held in detention pursuant to a court order unless it appears from the available facts that there is probable cause to believe that the child has committed the acts alleged and that there is (1) a strong probability that the child will run away prior to court hearing or disposition, (2) a strong probability that the child will commit or attempt to commit other offenses injurious to [him] such child or to the community before court disposition, (3) probable cause to believe that the child's continued residence in [his] such child's home pending disposition will not safeguard the best interests of the child or the community because of the serious and dangerous nature of the act or acts [he] such child is alleged to have committed, (4) a need to hold the child for another jurisdiction, or (5) a need to hold the child to assure [his] such child's appearance before the court, in view of [his] such child's previous failure to respond to the court process. Such probable cause may be shown by sworn affidavit in lieu of testimony. No child shall be released from detention who is alleged to have committed a serious juvenile offense except by order of a judge of the Superior Court. In no case shall a child be confined in a community correctional center or lockup, or in any place where adults are or may be confined, except in the case of a nursing infant. [; nor] In no case shall any child at any time be held in solitary confinement. When a female child is held in custody, she shall, as far as possible, be in the charge of a woman attendant.

[(e)] (f) The police officer who brings a child into detention shall have first notified, or made a reasonable effort to notify, the parents or guardian of the child in question of the intended action and shall file at the detention center a signed statement setting forth the alleged delinquent conduct of the child. Unless the arrest was for a serious juvenile offense, the child may be released by a detention supervisor to the custody of [his] such child's parent or parents [,] or guardian or some other suitable person.

[(f)] (g) In conjunction with any order of release from detention the court may, when [it] the court has reason to believe a child is alcohol-dependent or drug-dependent, as defined in section 46b-120, as amended, and where necessary, reasonable and appropriate, order the child to participate in a program of periodic alcohol or drug testing and treatment as a condition of such release. The results of any such alcohol or drug test shall be admissible only for the purposes of enforcing the conditions of release from detention.

[(g)] (h) Whenever the population of a juvenile detention center equals or exceeds the maximum capacity for such center, as determined by the Judicial Department, the detention supervisor in charge of intake shall only admit a child who: (1) Is charged with the commission of a serious juvenile offense, (2) is the subject of an order to detain or an outstanding court order to take such child into custody, (3) is ordered by a court to be held in detention, or (4) is being transferred to such center to await a court appearance.

Sec. 2. Section 53a-171 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

(a) A person is guilty of escape from custody if such person (1) escapes from custody, or (2) has been convicted as delinquent, has been committed to the Department of Children and Families, and (A) fails to return from a leave authorized under section 17a-8a, or (B) escapes from a state or private facility or institution in which such person has been assigned or placed by the Commissioner of Children and Families.

(b) If a person has been arrested for, charged with or convicted of a felony, escape from such custody is a class C felony, otherwise, escape from custody is a class A misdemeanor.

(c) This section shall not apply to any child or youth who has been committed pursuant to section 46b-129 or 46b-149.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2006

46b-133

Sec. 2

October 1, 2006

53a-171

Statement of Purpose:

To provide for the development and implementation of objective race-neutral criteria for determining whether to detain a child within the juvenile justice system and to exempt certain juvenile commitments from the offense of escape from custody.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]