Connecticut has made great improvements in recent years in its treatment of young people who have committed crimes. As this issue brief for candidates outlines, going forward, Connecticut needs to continue to invest in research-based, developmentally appropriate services that keep children and communities safe.
- Keeping children in school -- by improving school climate, reducing exclusionary discipline practices, preventing truancy and dropout, improving alternative education options, and minimizing school-based arrests – is the first step to reducing involvement in the juvenile justice system.
- Addressing academic, mental health, and behavioral health needs as early as possible is also critical to keeping children in school and out of the juvenile justice system.
- Connecticut’s landmark 2007 reforms to its juvenile justice laws marked a pivotal moment in Connecticut’s treatment of its at-risk youth, moving Connecticut towards a system that is more developmentally appropriate, cost-effective, and likely to prevent future delinquent behavior.
- Connecticut must continue to research, develop, and invest in cutting edge best practices designed to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for children and youth at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system.
- Connecticut must continue to work hard to ensure that policies and programs designed to keep children safe do not inadvertently contribute to racial and income-based inequities.
- Issue Area:
- Juvenile Justice