HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The probabilities of reaching a bipartisan settlement on juvenile justice reforms this summer season appeared unsure Tuesday, with a prime Republican within the Connecticut Home of Representatives saying talks have “damaged down” and the way the Basic Meeting ought to push forward with a collection of GOP concepts to deal with automotive thefts and different crimes being dedicated by repeat juvenile offenders.
Republican proposals embrace digital monitoring for juveniles arrested whereas awaiting trial on a earlier offense, necessary fingerprinting for sure critical crimes, expedited arraignments for felonies and higher entry to juvenile data for legislation enforcement, amongst different measures.
In the meantime, a key Home Democrat mentioned he’s nonetheless keen to work with Republicans, the minority occasion within the state’s Democratic managed Basic Meeting.
“I used to be upset to listen to the Home Republicans say discussions have ‘damaged down.’ I stay dedicated to working in a bipartisan method to make our felony justice system as efficient and simply as doable,” mentioned Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the Basic Meeting’s Judiciary Committee, in a press release.
However Stafstrom burdened that “the system will not be ‘damaged,’” as Republicans have claimed, and that Connecticut’s penal code doesn’t should be fully rewritten.
“Whereas there was a nationwide uptick in automotive thefts, crime in Connecticut stays at close to a long time lengthy lows,” Stafstrom mentioned.
Total, juvenile arrests are at historic lows in Connecticut. Nonetheless, there have been roughly 6,200 care thefts in 2020, which marked a rise of about 250 when in comparison with 2019. An evaluation by the Institute for Municipal and Regional Coverage at Central Connecticut State College discovered the 2020 complete was nonetheless decrease than in 2018.
Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford, the highest Home Republican on the Judiciary Committee, mentioned he believed “talks have damaged down” with Democratic lawmakers. He famous main variations of opinion with some who’ve accused the GOP of “manufacturing” a disaster and argue extra group applications and psychological well being companies are the reply to assist curb brazen juvenile crimes, not stricter punishments.
“The Democrats don’t need options right here and so they proceed responsible victims. You consistently hear, ‘lock your vehicles,’” mentioned Fishbein.
The talk over juvenile felony justice has stemmed from some extremely publicized crimes involving teenagers, together with a jogger in New Britain being struck and killed by a automotive stolen by a 17-year-old who had been arrested 13 instances earlier than on prices together with reckless driving and assault. One Democrat, Rep. Jill Barry of Glastonbury, appeared with Republicans at a information convention Tuesday on the state Capitol. She mentioned curbing juvenile crime shouldn’t be a partisan situation.
“This isn’t a celebration situation to me,” she mentioned. “It is a public security situation and I stand with my group and my group is demanding motion.”
The Home GOP has submitted a petition to name the legislature again into particular session, however they don’t have sufficient votes. Fishbein famous that lawmakers have returned to Hartford this summer season to vote on leisure marijuana and the COVID-19 pandemic, but have “ignored the emergency of juvenile justice on this state.”