Rep. Piscopo, House Republicans Unveil Juvenile Justice Reforms

Posted on August 13, 2021


State Rep. John Piscopo (R-76) joined his colleagues on Tuesday, August 10th, in backing a list of legislative proposals to reform the state’s juvenile justice laws and seek accountability for the victims of Connecticut’s recent crime wave.

During a news conference on the North Steps of the Capitol in Hartford, House Republicans listed over a dozen specific statutory and policy changes they sought to make that focused on the following main concepts: prevention, accountability, and rehabilitation.

These proposed reforms include:

  • Implementing victim impact panels in juvenile delinquency hearings
  • Electronic monitoring for juveniles arrested while awaiting trial on previous offenses
  • Expedited arraignment for felonies, a sex assault, offense involving use of a firearm
  • Court-ordered Family Support Services intervention at juvenile court arraignments
  • Expanding circumstances in which a matter is automatically transferred to the regular criminal docket, including instances involving a loss of life or use of a firearm
  • Creating a new offense of “larceny of a motor vehicle” not tied to the value of the vehicle

“The instances of serious crime involving juveniles have impacted many of our towns and cities across the state, leading many to call for immediate action. This crisis has resulted in destruction, growing fear and tension, property damage, and the loss of life. We cannot sit idly by without any intervention whatsoever. The justice reforms that my Republican colleagues and I have proposed are a thoughtful way of addressing the concerns of many, while ensuring the safety of our residents,” said Rep. Piscopo, who serves as the Republican Chief Republican Whip in the House. “Once again, we call on the Democrat Majority to bring the legislature in for a special session as soon as possible so that we can vote on these proposals. It’s already gone too far.”

Juvenile crime was a focus for House Republicans headed into the 2021 legislative session. The session, however, ended without substantial progress in reforming juvenile justice laws.

Amid a turbulent period of juvenile crime activity across the state — including an attempted shooting of a Glastonbury homeowner by car thieves, prompting contentious town hall meetings with residents seeking answers — House Republicans petitioned for a special legislative session.

The Republican proposals can be found at Republicans are asking members of the two Democratic legislative caucuses to sign their petition, initiate a special session and begin debate on these proposals.