Posted on April 29, 2022
HARTFORD—In a Republican-driven effort, State Representative Donna Veach supported compromise legislation aimed at curbing Connecticut’s juvenile crime crisis, laying a foundation for more work on improving public safety in communities where residents say they’ve felt threatened by a shocking escalation in the seriousness of crimes committed by young people.
“I feel that this bill is an equitable solution to the juvenile justice issues that have escalated throughout our state over the past two years,” Rep. Veach said. “While this bill won’t solve all of the issues surrounding juvenile crime, it does begin to lay the foundation to addressing what has largely been ignored for far too long.”
Among the provisions of H.B. 5417 are:
- Allows officers to access the past 90 days of juvenile records at the point of stop;
- Requires arraignments within 5 days and screening/assessment for services within 2 weeks of arraignment;
- Expands the 6-hour hold limit by two hours when an officer is in process on a detention order or attempting to make contact with a parent/guardian;
- Requires judges to articulate the reason for denying an application for detention within 48 hours;
During the House of Representatives debate, Rep. Veach joined Republicans in contending that the bill could have done more.
Among Republican proposals that were not included in the legislation:
- Require juvenile matters be adjudicated in the GA 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;
The legislation passed through House in a 129 to 17 vote.