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Reps. Fishbein, Zupkus Host Juvenile Justice Forum

Posted on November 10, 2021


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Responding to the concerns of residents alarmed by the rise in juvenile crime, most especially the rampant increase in incidents of motor vehicle thefts, State Representatives Craig Fishbein and Lezlye Zupkus hosted a Juvenile Justice Forum at Cheshire High School to further engage the public and work together to find solutions.

During the forum, the veteran lawmakers discussed important changes to Connecticut law over the last ten years that have led to an increase in property related crime, the most recent crime data from the FBI and state sources, and details of the House Republican’s plan to address the problem through legislation.  Following a short Powerpoint presentation, Cheshire Police Chief Neil Dryfe provided law enforcement’s perspective on the local, regional and state level before the floor was open to questions from the audience.

This stark rise in juvenile crime has alarmed residents from towns and cities throughout the state and several concerned citizens asked for the state to do more.  Realizing the police cannot be everywhere at once, many speakers said they were frustrated that car break-ins and stolen vehicles were seemingly being committed by juveniles who, when caught, display little fear of prosecution. A Wallingford resident who attended said that even having video cameras and motion-activated lighting on his property did not dissuade an attempted burglary of his vehicles, noting the alleged thieves used the bright light to avoid tripping while checking the door handles on each car.

Despite assurances from legislative Democrats that violent crime is down nationwide, the data clearly shows juvenile crime is on the rise in Connecticut, with car thefts committed by juvenile offenders having increased dramatically. Once again, House Republicans are urging everyone to call their legislator and ask for a special session to, at the very least, debate the issue and proposals put forth by the House Republican caucus.