PA 11-154—sHB 6634

Judiciary Committee

Human Services Committee


SUMMARY: This act prohibits police officers from placing children they arrest, but who have not yet appeared before a judge, in a juvenile detention center without a Superior Court order. It also:

1. requires detention center intake supervisors to admit only children who are (a) the subject of an order to detain, (b) ordered by a court to be held in detention, or (c) transferred to the center to await a court appearance;

2. eliminates a provision allowing detention supervisors to admit serious juvenile offender arrestees to overcrowded juvenile detention centers without a court order; and

3. requires judicial and executive entities to report to the legislature and governor every two years on progress in addressing disproportionate minority contact (DMC).

Under the act, DMC means that a disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for the DMC reporting requirement; October 1, 2011 for the remaining provisions.


Under existing law, a police officer who arrests a child can (1) release the child into a parent or suitable adult's custody, (2) release the child into his or her own custody, or (3) turn the child over to a juvenile detention center. The act requires the officer to get a Superior Court order to place the child in detention.

The court cannot order detention unless it finds probable cause to believe that the child has committed the alleged acts and there is no less restrictive alternative. It must then find at least one of the following:

1. a strong probability that the child will run away before the court hearing or disposition or commit or attempt to commit another crime injurious to the child or community during that period,

2. probable cause to believe that the child's continued residence in the child's home pending disposition poses a risk to the child or the community because of the serious and dangerous nature of the act or acts the child is alleged to have committed,

3. a need to hold the child for another jurisdiction or to ensure that he or she appears before the court in view of the child's previous failure to respond to the court process, or

4. the child has violated one or more of the conditions of a suspended detention order.

These are the same considerations used to determine whether to admit a child to pretrial detention.


Biennially, beginning September 30, 2011, the act requires the (1) children and families and public safety commissioners, (2) chief state's attorney, (3) chief public defender, (4) chief court administrator, and (5) Police Officer Standards and Training Council to each report to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) on the plans they have developed and steps taken in the previous two fiscal years to address DMC in the juvenile justice system. Each entity that provides child welfare services (the chief court administrator and the Department of Children and Families Commissioner) must include in its report (1) a description of efforts made to address DMC in the child welfare system and (2) an evaluation of the relationship between the child welfare system and DMC in the juvenile justice system.

The act directs the entities to submit their reports to the OPM secretary and the secretary to compile them into a single report for the legislature and governor by December 31 of each odd-numbered year.

OLR Tracking: SP: VR: JL: ts