Olr research report




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OLR RESEARCH REPORT


December 18, 1998




98-R-1490


LONG LANE POPULATION STATISTICS








By: Christopher Reinhart, Research Attorney






You asked a series of questions about Long Lane School: (1) how do juveniles end up at Long Lane, (2) are conditions imposed on their release, (3) how many African-Americans and Latinos are in Long Lane, (4) what cities are they from, (5) what ages are represented, and (6) on average, how long are juveniles at the school.


SUMMARY
A child may be sent to Long Lane in a number of different ways. The Juvenile Court can commit a child who is adjudged delinquent to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), including a stay at Long Lane. A delinquent child given probation or placed in another program by the Juvenile Court might also be sent to Long Lane if he violates his probation or fails the program. A child might also be sent to Long Lane if he violates a court order issued under the families with service needs law (FWSN).
A child released from Long Lane after he completes the term of his commitment to DCF has no conditions imposed on him. If a child is released from Long Lane before the completion of his term, a parole officer from DCF supervises him for the remainder of the term. Some offenders who committed serious juvenile offenses are also ordered by the court to live outside of their town of residence at the start of their commitment. These individuals are supervised by a parole officer during this period.
The parole officer has discretion to return an individual to Long Lane for conduct such as drug use, not attending school, not complying with counseling, being disruptive at home, and other circumstances demonstrating an inability to adjust. But if new crimes are committed it is likely that new juvenile proceedings will begin.
On December 14, 1998, 46% of the Long Lane population was African-American, 35% Hispanic, 18% white, and 1% Asian. Ten cities account for 70% of admissions to Long Lane. Children at Long Lane are generally between the ages of 12 and 17 and the average age at the school is 15. But children as young as nine have spent time at Long Lane. The average length of stay is about 5 1/2 months. According to a Hartford Courant article, about 70% of those at Long Lane failed in private residential programs (Long Lane Population is Mainly Minority, Hartford Courant, December 8, 1998).
JUVENILE COURT OPTIONS
Juvenile courts hear cases of individuals under age 16 who violate state or federal law or ordinances that are not serious enough to be transferred to Superior Court for trial as an adult. Juvenile Court judges have several options when a child is determined delinquent. These options include placement in an appropriate institution or agency, alternative incarceration, participation in the wilderness school, an order that the child or parents make restitution, or probation with conditions such as drug testing (CGS § 46b-140 as amended by PA 98-256). Placement depends on many factors. The court considers the seriousness of the offense and aggravating factors such as the use of a firearm and the impact on a victim, the child's record and willingness to participate in available programs, any mitigating factors, and the child's culpability (CGS § 46b-140).
The court must commit the child to the custody of DCF if the court finds that probation and other available services are inadequate for the child (CGS § 46b-140). The judge must consult with DCF about the most appropriate placement and the commitment can include a stay at Long Lane.
FWSN ORDERS
A child can also be sent to Long Lane for violating court orders issued under FWSN laws. FWSN involves "status offenses," activity that would not be criminal if committed by an adult, such as running away from home or refusing to attend school. A child who violates these court orders can be determined a delinquent and sent to Long Lane (CGS § 46b-148).
COMMITMENT TO DCF
Commitment to DCF, and possibly to Long Lane, is for an indeterminate time of up to 18 months. But a child adjudged delinquent for a serious juvenile offense (SJO) can be committed for up to four years (CGS § 46b-141). Over 50 crimes are listed as SJO's including all class A, most class B, and many class C felonies. They also include drug crimes, carrying a handgun without a permit, manufacturing bombs, and several loan-shark-type offenses (CGS § 46b-120). DCF can petition for an extension of up to an additional 18 months if it is in the best interest of the child or the community (CGS § 46b-141).
TOWNS OF ORIGIN FOR CHILDREN AT LONG LANE
Ten cities account for 70% of admissions to Long Lane. The following chart displays the number of admissions from these cities during state fiscal year 1998.


City

Number Of Admissions

Hartford

63

Bridgeport

60

New Haven

47

Waterbury

32

New Britain

18

Meriden

13

Stamford

13

East Hartford

11

Bristol

10

Norwalk

8

CR:lc











D'Ann Mazzocca, Ph.D.

Phone (860) 240-8400

FAX (860) 240-8881

http://www.cga.state.ct.us/olr





Room 5300

Legislative Office Building

Hartford, CT 06106-1591

Olr@po.state.ct.us


Connecticut General Assembly

Office of Legislative Research










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