Rep. Fishbein and the Judiciary Committee Favorably Vote for Bill Strengthening Juvenile Justice Laws

Posted on April 4, 2022


State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today reacted to important juvenile justice proposals approved by the legislature’s Judiciary Committee last week.

“Over the last year, House Republicans have traversed the state calling for changes to the policies and procedures in our Juvenile Justice system. I’m pleased to announce that through negotiation and compromise many of the important provisions we’ve advocated for will be realized,” Rep. Craig Fishbein, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee said. “These changes will provide police with more access to background information when dealing with juveniles at the point of a stop, will give the courts more discretion to reduce recidivism, as well as to make sure that our numerous diversionary program options are effective in reducing recidivism.”

Last week, the Judiciary Committee, in a bi-partisan vote of 35 to 4, approved HB 5417 – An Act Concerning Juvenile Justice and Services and Firearm Background Checks, which includes several key points from the House Republican Juvenile Justice plan, including:

  • Permitting police officers to access the past 90 days of juvenile records at the point of stop
  • Expanding the 6-hour hold (by two hours to 8) when an officer is in process of seeking a detention order, or if they are attempting to make, but has not yet made, contact with a parent/guardian
  • Requiring arraignments no more than 5 days after arrest, and screening/assessment for services no more than 2 weeks after arraignment
  • Requiring, in the case of the denial of a detention request, that the judge articulates the reason for denying the request within 48 hours
  • Permitting a judge to order GPS tracking of a juvenile arrested for a second or subsequent offense involving theft of a motor vehicle
  • Permitting a prosecutor to seek heightened penalties for juveniles arrested for a crime involving use of a firearm
  • Creating a new crime of “larceny of a motor vehicle” to make all motor vehicle theft cases the same, no matter the value of the vehicle, with graduated penalties for repeat offenders
  • Requiring reporting about the various diversionary programs that Connecticut has for juveniles, program content, costs, and success rate of reducing recidivism

“I appreciate my colleagues’ willingness to consider and approve of many of these important, common-sense changes, and look forward to its passage by the full legislature,” Rep. Fishbein said.

The bill will be placed on the House calendar and awaits further action.