HARTFORD—In a Republican-driven effort State Representative Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, issued the following statement Thursday after the House voted in favor of H.B. 5417, which will strengthen Juvenile Justice laws.
The bill, which now awaits passage by the Senate, is a compromise legislation aimed at curbing Connecticut’s juvenile crime crisis, laying a foundation for more work on improving public safety in communities that have seen a shocking escalation in the seriousness of crimes committed by young people.
The legislation passed through the House in a 129 to 17 vote.
Among other provisions, it allows for:
- GPS tracking of a juvenile arrested for a second or subsequent offense involving a motor vehicle or property theft
- Allows officers to access the past 90 days of juvenile records at the point of stop
- repeals the existing portions of the larceny statutes dealing with motor vehicles and replaces them with a standalone charge of larceny of a motor vehicle
“Residents should not have to look over their shoulders or worry when they simply step out of their vehicles to make a trip to the grocery store or pump gas. They should feel that when they park their car at night, it will still be there in the morning. Right now, that simply isn’t the case,” Rep. Rebimbas said. “We know the answer to this crisis isn’t to lock up every juvenile, but something must be done to address repeat juvenile offenders who are stealing cars and committing crimes without consequences.
I appreciate the work on both sides of the aisle that went into bringing this forward – it’s critical that we work together for the people of our state.”
Last summer, Republicans—and the public—increased calls for action after a New Britain resident out for a jog was killed by a teenager – who had been arrested multiple times – driving a stolen vehicle. That tragedy occurred on the heels of many other headline-grabbing crimes, including youths who rammed a police cruiser in Tolland and a teenager in Hartford who was arrested twice in two different stolen cars within five hours. In the ensuing months, many other crimes committed by teenagers shocked residents, including carjackings and shootings.
Among Republican proposals that were not included in the legislation:
- Require juvenile matters be adjudicated in the court district where the offense occurred;
- Expanded automatic transfer to adult court for all serious juvenile offenses;
- Prohibited auto insurance carriers from canceling a policy solely because a policyholder’s car was stolen;
- Require next-day arraignments and immediate assessment for services;
Representative Rebimbas can be reached by email at Rosa.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-842-1423. You can follow her work at the Capitol on her website at www.cthousegop.com/rebimbas/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RepRosaRebimbas/
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