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Malloy Praises Closure Of Controversial State Juvenile Prison

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy thanked lawmakers and officials working in child welfare and juvenile justice for closing Connecticut Juvenile Training School last week. That was the state’s last locked facility for kids run by the Department of Children and Families, or DCF.

Malloy had ordered the facility closed by this summer after a state investigation found that youth officers had locked children in seclusion while they were in emotional distress.

“We have to recognize that some people need supervision and different levels of supervision, but this was not the facility design to affect that. It placed young boys, young men in a prison-like facility, making rehabilitation, healing and growth more challenging rather than less challenging. And we were right to close this facility.”

Malloy was speaking at the monthly Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee meeting in Hartford on Thursday.

At the meeting, officials who closed CJTS were still figuring out how to treat children who would’ve been locked up there. The Department of Children and Family Services discussed how they would pay for services after juveniles—and the money to care for them—gets transferred out of its care into the judicial branch.

More than a dozen programs could be closed due to a roughly $12 million shortfall. Those programs range from summer jobs to substance use counseling.

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.