Youth advocates in Connecticut are looking at ways for the state to keep young people out of juvenile detention, and to prevent them from going to prison later.
A report from the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance was led by a group of people between the ages of 18 and 25, who have been, or have family members who have been, in the juvenile justice system.
Group member Iliana Pujols said the report is a series of 10 calls to action.
“Some of the calls to action are very specific, like removing all youth from adult prison-like facilities. And then we have some calls to action that are a little bit more vague, like the state of Connecticut needs to create and implement a plan to address racial and ethnic disparities.”
Pujols says they heard common complaints across the board.
“Lack of hope, abuse of authority and lack of trust in the system. All these themes have to do with some sort of investment. Whether it’s a need to invest money, it’s a need to invest time, care, love.”
Their recommendations include more investment in mental health and education. The group also called on the state to address racial inequality in employment and housing. And they say the state should ensure that police officers and others who abuse their authority are held accountable.