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WSHU's ongoing coverage of issues surrounding Connecticut's Department of Children and Families.

Malloy: Close CJTS By 2018

Connecticut Juvenile Training School
Connecticut Department of Children and Families

Governor Dannel Malloy said he thinks the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown could close by July of 2018. CJTS is the state’s locked juvenile detention facility for boys.

The facility’s been under scrutiny this year since the state Child Advocate found that staff were putting kids into restraints and seclusion illegally while they were in emotional distress.

William Carbone, director of the Tow Youth Justice Institute at the University of New Haven, said Malloy has helped make the state a national leader in juvenile justice reform.

“We may be one of the first states, frankly, that’s taking this kind of a leap in looking to close institutions and put children into smaller, community-based programs closer to the neighborhoods to which they will be returning,” he said.

Carbone says a committee of legislators, experts, and advocates is looking at alternative programs to rehabilitate children closer to home. The Annie E. Casey Foundation said this year that states should look into closing big, locked facilities for juveniles.

Former Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell called for CJTS to close in 2005, after several state investigations found similar incidents of illegal use of restraint and seclusion.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.
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