P.A. 22-115 AAC Juvenile Justice and Services, Firearms Background Checks, and Larceny of a Motor Vehicle. (H.B. 5417)

Home P.A. 22-115 AAC Juvenile Justice and Services, Firearms Background Checks, and Larceny of a Motor Vehicle. (H.B. 5417)

The bill makes various changes to the juvenile justice statutes, among other changes. Information about select sections is below. To read a detailed analysis of each section of the bill from the Office of Legislative Research, please click here.

§ 1 — Juvenile Arrests and Delinquency Procedures

The bill makes various changes to procedures when a juvenile is arrested following an alleged delinquent act, such as (1) generally requiring an arrested child to be brought before a judge within five business days after the arrest; (2) allowing the court to order electronic monitoring if a child was charged with a second or subsequent motor vehicle or property theft offense; and (3) in certain circumstances, increasing the maximum period, from six to eight hours, that a child may be held in a community correctional center or lockup without a judge’s detention order.

Under the bill, if there is probable cause to believe that an arrested child committed the acts alleged, the court may consider if the child should be assessed for services. If so, the (1) assessment must occur within two weeks after the child’s arraignment and (2) child has the right to counsel during the assessment.

Existing law sets conditions under which a judge, upon the arresting officer’s application, may order an arrested child to be placed in a juvenile residential center. The bill specifies that the arresting officer, if seeking such a detention order, must use the form prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator (see §§ 7 & 21).

The bill eliminates the current condition that the judge, to order this detention, determine that there is no appropriate less restrictive alternative available. Instead, the judge must determine that detention is more reasonable than an appropriate less restrictive alternative. The bill also requires a judge who declines to order detention to articulate the reasons why on the detention request form referenced above.

By law, if the judge issues a detention order, there must be a hearing on the next business day following the child’s arrest to determine whether the detention should continue. One condition for this continued detention is that there is no less restrictive alternative available. If the detention order is upheld, the child must receive another hearing at least every seven days to determine whether to continue the detention (CGS § 46b-133(j)).

§ 2 — Serious Homicide, Firearm, or Sexual Offender Juvenile Prosecution

The bill expands existing law on juvenile serious sexual offender prosecutions to also cover certain homicide and firearm crimes, and makes various changes affecting these cases, such as allowing the juvenile portion of the sentence to be extended for up to 60 months.

§§ 5, 19 & 20 — Access to Juvenile Delinquency Records

The bill gives municipal employees and agents access to juvenile delinquency records if they are involved in the proceeding or delivery of related services; specifically requires that law enforcement officials have electronic access to certain juvenile delinquency records for criminal investigations; and requires CSSD to report by March 1, 2023, on progress made toward implementing these provisions.

§§ 7 & 21 — Detention Request Forms and Data

The bill requires prosecutors, not just the police, to attach the official court detention form to the summons when requesting a detention order for a child; requires the form to instruct judges who decline to order detention to articulate their reasons why; and requires prosecutors and the police, not just the judicial branch, to compile and categorize data on detention order requests.

§§ 8-10 & 13-18 — Larceny of a Motor Vehicle

The bill sets a new penalty structure for larceny of a motor vehicle. It provides for graduated penalties based on whether the person has prior convictions for this crime, rather than based on the vehicle’s value as under current law. These changes result in a lower penalty for a first offense than under current law; the penalty for subsequent offenses may differ from current law, depending on the vehicle’s value.

§ 11 — DCF and CSSD Report on Transfer of Juvenile Services

PA 18-31 transferred, from DCF to the judicial branch, legal authority over any child who was committed to DCF as delinquent pursuant to a juvenile court order entered before July 1, 2018.

The bill requires the DCF commissioner and the CSSD executive director to identify each juvenile delinquency or juvenile justice service that DCF provided to children at the time of PA 18-31’s passage. They must determine how DCF transferred these services to CSSD and identify any services that were merged with other services, eliminated, or otherwise not transferred.

§ 12 — CSSD Report on Juvenile Justice Issues

Requires CSSD to review certain juvenile justice issues, such as the effectiveness of pretrial diversionary programs, and report on its review to the Judiciary Committee by December 31, 2022.

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