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DCF Floats Alternative Plan For Connecticut's Juvenile Jail

The Connecticut Juvenile Training School, in Middletown, Conn.
Connecticut Department of Children and Families
The Connecticut Juvenile Training School, in Middletown, Conn.

Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families is set to close its last juvenile prison by 2018, and on Thursday showed lawmakers a new plan to send children elsewhere.

The Department is considering closing the 125-bed Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown, and opening smaller locked facilities in Hamden or Stratford.

The state investigated CJTS last year. It found that children in mental distress were being put in restraints and locked in seclusion.

Abby Anderson, head of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, says kids in the system need more therapeutic services to keep them from getting arrested again.

“We have to really look at each one of these kids as the individual child that they are from an individual family unit, and work with that child and family with whatever strengths and weaknesses that they’re coming in with, and say, what does this child need in order to be successful?”

A study presented to lawmakers on Thursday shows that about 80 percent of kids released from Connecticut Juvenile Training School get arrested again within two years.

Copyright 2016 WSHU

Cassandra Basler oversees Connecticut Public’s flagship daily news programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and coordinates breaking news coverage on the air, online and in your morning email inbox. Her reporting has aired nationally on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Here & Now.

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