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Rep. Yaccarino, House Republicans Unveil Juvenile Justice Reforms

Posted on August 17, 2021


State Rep. Dave Yaccarino (R-87) 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

“This is not about seeking to incarnate juveniles, it’s about having programs in place to prevent and deter juveniles from a life of crime. Instances of serious crime involving juveniles are on the rise across the state, which is why we need to do something about it now. The juvenile justice reforms put forth by my Republican colleagues and I address the concerns of many in a thoughtful way and ensure that our communities and residents remain safe, which is not a partisan or political issue,” said Rep. Yaccarino, who serves as a Republican Whip in the House.

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, which included an attempted shooting of a Glastonbury homeowner by car thieves, the death of a man jogging in New Britain,  auto thefts on the rise in North Haven, and several other serious crime instances that prompted contentious town hall meetings with residents seeking answers and House Republicans petitioning 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.