November 25, 2015


Rachel DellaPietra


Phoenix Ronan

Holly Williams

William Craven



Proposal to Close Connecticut Juvenile Training School and Transfer Youth to the Judicial Department

You asked for an estimate of the fiscal impact of closing the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS), which includes the Pueblo Unit for girls and is operated by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and transferring youth to Judicial Department (JUD) detention beds effective December 1, 2016. It should be noted that the service array at JUD detention differs from that at CJTS (see the Appendix provided by the Office of Legislative Research, or OLR, for a comparison).


As laid out in your proposal, our projection assumes the following:

1. No change in the JUD service array at its two state-run detention centers in Hartford and Bridgeport, nor by its detention private providers.

2. The elimination of all 355 filled CJTS positions within DCF.

Further, it is assumed that four CJTS employees will exercise their right of first refusal to fill four new positions within JUD. These four new positions are anticipated to be required due to the transfer of approximately 70 youth from CJTS to JUD detentions centers. The average monthly census at CJTS as of October 2015 was 69 youth.1 The monthly average census in FY 15 was 104 youth.2


It is anticipated that closure of CJTS and the transfer of the youth to JUD detention centers will result in net savings to the state of $15.2 million in FY 17, $38.3 million in FY 18, $39.8 million in FY 19, and $41.6 million in FY 20. These net amounts include savings to DCF of approximately $15.2 million in FY 17, $31 million in FY 18, $32.2 million in FY 19, and $33.5 million in FY 20. Projected costs to JUD are approximately $268,650 in FY 17, $308,225 in FY 18, $319,354 in FY 19, and $331,972 in FY 20. Projected net savings to the State Comptroller – Fringe Benefits (OSC) are approximately $280,729 in FY 17, $7,582,682 in FY 18, $7,997,321 in FY 19, and $8,455,091 in FY 20. A summary table of the state fiscal impact is provided on the following page.

CJTS Closure and Transfer to JUD Fiscal Impact Projection1



FY 17 $

FY 18 $

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Department of Children and Families (DCF)

Personal Services2





Other Expenses





DCF Savings





Judicial Department (JUD)3

Personal Services4





Other Expenses





JUD Cost





State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits (OSC)

DCF Fringe Benefit Savings5





JUD Fringe Benefit Cost6





OSC Net Savings7










1Per the requestor, assumes a closure date of 12/1/2016. Personal Services, Other Expenses, and health related costs were inflated in the out-years (FY 18 to FY 20) based on inflation rates reflected on page 7 of the Office of Fiscal Analysis' November 13, 2015 Fiscal Accountability Report.

2Reflects: (1) the elimination of all 355 filled CJTS positions (306 full-time, 29 part-time, and 20 temporary), and (2) the assumption that four of these employees will exercise their right of first refusal to fill four new positions within the Judicial Department.

3There are currently 295 employees at JUD juvenile detention centers, which reflect staffing levels at close to full utilization of beds. As of 11/20/15, there are 147 empty beds in the JUD juvenile detention system.

4Reflects the transfer of four full-time positions from CJTS to JUD on 12/1/2016: two at Hartford Detention and two at Bridgeport Detention.

5DCF net fringe benefit savings reflect social security, health and dental savings, offset by unemployment compensation costs (FY 17 only) for 351 employees.

6JUD fringe benefit costs reflect social security, health and dental costs for the four transferred positions.

7The fringe estimates do not include the impact to OSC for pension related fringe benefit expenses for employees impacted by the proposal. The pension impact to the State Employees' Retirement System from laying off DCF employees will be reflected in subsequent actuarially determined employer contributions (ADECs).

8This does not include potential costs of maintaining, or decommissioning, the CJTS campus after closure. Costs would depend on the condition of, and the plan for, the property at the time of closure.


Savings in FY 17 reflect the elimination of Personal Services (PS) account expenditures for 355 employees for 13 pay periods. Savings are annualized in FY 18. Inflation rates are applied in the out years. The inflation rate is 3.9% for FY 18, 3.8% for FY 19, and 4.2% for FY 20. PS account costs include salary and overtime.

Other Expenses (OE) account projections reflect seven months of savings. Savings are annualized in FY 18. Inflation is applied in FY 18 and the subsequent out years. The inflation rate is 2.4% for FY 18, 2.3% for FY 19, and 2.3% for FY 20. OE account costs primarily include natural gas, food and beverages, electricity, and premises repair/maintenance supplies. It is important to note that OE savings do not include potential costs of maintaining, or decommissioning, the CJTS campus after closure. These potential costs are anticipated to be borne by DCF until such time as the campus is transferred to another agency, or the Department of Administrative Services sells the property.


The PS account cost to the Judicial Department assumes the transfer of four DCF Youth Service Officers to fill four vacancies for Juvenile Detention Officers. The OE account cost assumes the need for training for the new Juvenile Detention Officers, as well as expanded training for current juvenile detention staff to accommodate a long term care approach (the average length of stay at juvenile detention is 14 to 21 days while the average length of stay at CJTS for a new commitment is 8.4 months).3


JUD juvenile detention program includes both state-run and private provider secured facilities, and community residential programs (non-secure). The table below provides the JUD juvenile detention bed capacity and utilization as of November 20, 2015. There are currently 295 employees at JUD juvenile detention centers, which reflect staffing levels at close to full utilization of beds. As of 11/20/15, there are 147 empty beds in the JUD juvenile detention system. Therefore, only four additional positions are needed to accommodate approximately 70 youth from CJTS.

Judicial Department Juvenile Detention Population

(by facility type - as of 11/20/15)

Facility Type









Private Provider








Community Residential Placement





Private Provider












I hope that you find this information helpful. Please contact us if you have any questions or need further assistance.


OLR Comparison of Support & Services at CJTS to JUD Detention

Service Area





Teachers are employees of the Walter G. Cady School, part of Unified School district #2.

Bridgeport Board of Education (BOE) staffs the Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center; Hartford BOE contracts with the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) to provide education in Hartford and Washington Street Detention facilities.

The CSSD education coordinator coordinates educational programming, advocacy services, and interagency collaboration on education matters.

Academic Placement

Class placement is based on a social-behavioral assessment and achievement testing, including reading and math assessments, as well as school records and credit needs.

Class placement is determined by a grade level assessment, the child's home school records, and contact with the child's guidance counselor.

Student: Staff Ratio

Two teachers and a pupil services specialist are assigned to students in each residential unit.

About 8:1

Additional Instruction

20 hours “Medal of Honor” instruction

SAT/PSAT testing

online learning – allows students to earn credits towards graduation

“Literacy How” program helps students improve reading skills

Through “Positive Behavior Intervention Supports”, teaching teams nominate a student who demonstrates safety, citizenship, respect, and a strong work ethic and acknowledges the achievement at a monthly luncheon.

“enrichment activities” (not specified)

computer training

residents may receive homework help from detention and peer-to-peer support

Clinical Services/Programs


substance abuse treatment, including (1) Seven challenges, an evidence-based substance abuse treatment program that is mandatory for all residents with substance abuse or dependence diagnosis (2) resident student assistance program, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment program designed for implementation in residential facilities, and (3) Narcotics Anonymous

dialectical behavior therapy – designed to decrease para-suicidal and suicidal behaviors in adults (adapted for adolescents)

aggression replacement training – designed for aggressive youth to enhance social skills, improve moral reasoning, and control anger.

listen and learn – program designed to help offenders learn the impact of their crimes

fire-setting assessments and treatment

Health and Wellness program helps students with a body mass index in the “at-risk” category by monitoring abnormal lab values, weight, and BMI, as well as coordinating with the dietary department to ensure a “health and wellness” meal option at lunch, and ensuring specially designed recreational activities for health and wellness.

trauma screening and psychoeducational group (TARGET) helps residents learn how traumatic experiences influence the ways they interact with people and situations

sexual assault and sexual harassment safety

health and hygiene

substance abuse

gender responsive

sex trafficking prevention

anger management

conflict resolution

life skills (table manners, communication skills)

parenting skills

violence prevention

spiritual and religious services

work study (job planning, resume writing)

guest speakers


psychiatric consultation

medication assessment and management

individual and family therapy

mental health screening at intake

medication management

counselors on site days, nights, and weekends to provide support, crisis intervention, and case management services as needed.

Family Involvement

family therapy (mentioned above)

visiting hours

visiting hours

monthly family events

classification and program managers coordinate family visits

families may also meet with teachers and discuss academic progress

Recreation/Rehabilitation Services


horseback riding

models (planes, cars, etc.)

music therapy


chess club

Tahiti club


wilderness trips

art therapy

Dr. Dad




cross stitch


high level

cross training

sports (basketball, dodge ball, volleyball, badminton, double dutch, bowling)


board games and puzzles


arts and crafts



skill development activities (e.g., spelling bee)

current events discussions


therapeutic movement

team building

Medical Services


Comprehensive medical services, including on-site pediatrician, APRN, nursing staff

Comprehensive medical services, including on-site pediatrician, APRN, nursing staff

Vocational Services


small engine repair

computer graphics technology

culinary arts

auto detailing

building trades


hairstyling/barbering & cosmetology

print production technology




Administrative Case Reviews (ACRs) and Treatment Planning Conferences (TPCs) – youth meet with their treatment team at a TPC within 30 days of admission to discuss current functioning, goals, and discharge plans (collectively, the plan of service (POS)). Subsequent ACRs take place at six-month intervals to review the plan and make adjustments as needed.

Interagency referrals – clinical staff, in collaboration with regional staff, refer all potentially-eligible residents to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or the Department of Developmental Services for eligibility review and services.

Residents may be issued passes to make a short visit home as part of the reintegration process.

Various community programs are used to support residents who are discharged and return to home settings (see p. 19, CJTS 2015 plan for more information about these programs)

CSSD detention liaison shares information with DCF area offices and parole services; work with detention staff to ensure continuity of care for committed DCF youth

Detention expeditors work with probation and the detention liaison to ensure a smoot placement process. Expeditors explain the placement process to children, prepare them for pre-admission meetings, and serve as a liaison between detention and the residential facility.

Counselors also assist probation with discharge planning whenever possible.

Upon discharge, a child's grades , number of school days attended, and progress reports are sent to the child's home school



Jr. varsity football team (Cady Hawks)

National Youth Projects Using Minibikes Incentive Program – students who maintain behavioral and academic standards may participate in a 21 lesson minibike program.

School counselor provides postsecondary educational support by arranging vocational training, assisting with college applications, coordinating driver education classes, etc.

Boys and Girls Club on premises, including a game room and various programs, such as “Money Matters”, “Job Ready”, etc.

Community volunteers, many of whom are from nearby colleges, meet with CJTS residents to provide tutoring services.  

An ombudsman within the DCF commissioner's office reviews and responds to all grievances from residents at CJTS. The ombudsman meets with the youth, determines the extent of their concern, reviews the facility's response to the inquiry, and then follows up with the youth about the outcome of their grievance and the next steps.

CSSD recently implemented the Positive Behavior Motivation program incorporates various best practice models of interventions, with the goal of allowing children and staff “to benefit from a more relationship-oriented approach to interaction as opposed to the more traditional “custody and control” approach.

CSSD contracts with an independent ombudsman to visit each detention facility. The ombudsman administers a quality of life survey on a regular basis, and children may leave confidential messages for him or speak to him directly about any concerns. The ombudsman investigates all concerns in collaboration with the facility Superintendent and reports to the Juvenile Residential Services Deputy Director.

Source: Office of Legislative Research

1 Department of Children and Families, Comprehensive Financial Status Report (October 2015).

2 Department of Children and Families, Comprehensive Financial Status Report (June 2015).

3 Connecticut Juvenile Training School Advisory Board, Report to the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families (February 2015).