The ACLU of Connecticut urged lawmakers to repeal an obscure state law that enables the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to transfer children under its care into the Department of Corrections.

The seldom-used law, CGS § 17a-12, came to public attention when DCF used it to send a 16-year-old transgender girl into an adult prison without charging her with a crime. She was detained in solitary confinement for 77 days until the public outcry led to her release.

The ACLU of Connecticut’s research indicates that the so-called transfer statute has been used only two times in its 40-plus year history.

“This flawed statute is at odds with our constitution in failing to provide adequate due process,” said ACLU of Connecticut’s Director of Communications, Patrick Gallahue. “It is also contrary to the trend in our state where leaders are searching for less punitive ways of dealing with young people.”

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