The ACLU of Connecticut strongly opposes this cruel and unnecessary bill. S.B. 187 relies on a 1980s approach to justice when Connecticut needs a 21st century approach. By criminalizing children who are in crisis, imprisoning youth as young as 14 years old in adult facilities, and tying the hands of judges by requiring them to automatically send children who are accused of certain crimes into the adult court and jail systems, this cruel bill would take Connecticut backward. In the process, it would undermine children's wellbeing and jeopardize public safety. A child who is experiencing a mental health crisis needs healthcare, not prison. A child who is unsafe at home needs safe, supportive shelter, not a correctional facility. Incarceration is not an appropriate response to a suffering child. Contrary to what some have claimed, Connecticut is also not experiencing a youth crime wave; the number of youth arrests in Connecticut has dropped in recent years, not risen. We encourage the legislature to stick with proven, evidence-based solutions to issues of children's wellbeing, not punitive approaches that could perpetuate trauma and injustice.

Status

Failed

Session

2018

Bill number

S.B. 187

Position

Oppose

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