Rep. Scott Backs Juvenile Justice Reforms

Posted on August 10, 2021

HARTFORD — State Rep. Tony Scott (R-112) joined his colleagues Tuesday in backing a list of legislative proposals to reform the state’s juvenile justice laws and seek accountability for the victims of Connecticut’s summer juvenile 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 would make, centered around three core principles: 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.

“We are finally taking steps towards getting the accountability that victims of crime in this state deserve,” Rep. Scott said. “After today, it is no longer acceptable to simply warn residents to lock their cars and call 9-1-1 — whether the Democratic majority party support these comprehensive public safety proposals or not, they deserve a vote in a special session before the end of this summer. And if you support more realistic sentencing guidelines for judges and prosecutors in this state, if you support getting more data on youth recidivism and how circumstances in the home contribute to it, and if you support the opportunity for a victim of a car theft to share their experience during a juvenile court hearing, you can’t wait on the sideline any longer — all members of the House should support our ongoing petition effort for a special session on this topic, or start putting forward their own solutions.”

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 in Monroe, where over 20 cars were entered by thieves in one night and three were stolen — 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.

Tell lawmakers to take action: