ACTION 1: On February 4, 1999, DCF Received Anonymous Complaint And Allegations
Concerning Abuse And Neglect of Detainees At The New Haven Detention Center.
On February 24, 1999, DCF notified the Judicial Branch that they were conducting an
investigation regarding allegations of abuse at the New Haven Detention Center.
On February 26, 1999, Judicial informs States Attorney Michael Dearington of the
investigation; Mr. Dearington contacts the State Police.
In concert with DCF, Judicial implements a safety plan at the Detention Center
requiring an employee of a high supervisory level to monitor the centers operations
from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
On April 29, 1999, New Haven Detention Center Supervisor is reassigned; Leo
Supervisor of Hartford Detention, is assigned to New Haven effective May 4, 1999.
ACTION 2: On June 2, 1999, DCF Delivers Special Investigation Unit Report To
Judicial, Charging 19 Employees With Physical Abuse and Neglect.
On June 2, 1999, Judicial contacted States Attorney Michael Dearington and
forwarded the DCF Report.
On June 7, 1999, Judicial requests and receives agreement from the Office of The Child
Advocate to serve as monitor at the New Haven Detention Center site.
On June 8, 1999, Judicial places 8 employees (charged with physical abuse) on
suspension pending completion of an internal investigation. Nine others (charged with
physical neglect) also subject to internal investigation. Two employees resigned.
ACTION 3: Investigate All Allegations Contained In The DCF Report.
After numerous meetings with CSSD staff and discussions with Tom
Siconolfi, Bob Coffey
and Bill Risley, a 10 step investigation process has been developed. More than 75
interviews will be conducted starting next week.
- Attorney Glenn Coe has been contracted with to investigate the
allegations contained in the DCF report.
- An employee (suspended for physical abuse on June 7, 1999) was
terminated on July 19, 1999, for failure to successfully complete the Probationary period
for attainment of Permanent status.
ACTION 4: Conduct A Review Of All Detention Supervisory And Direct Care Staff
A work group has been established to review job descriptions to include duties and
qualifications. A comparison with other states will be conducted. Preliminary discussion
has been to raise the present qualifications equal to Juvenile Probation staff and
establish a parallel job track.
- The review of job descriptions has been completed. A new job series
was defined: Juvenile Detention Services Officer Trainee, Juvenile Detention Services
Officer I, and Juvenile Detention Services Officer II. This job series parallels Probation
Officers, Family Service Officers, and Juvenile Probation Officers in that a B.A. is a
minimum requirement and a career development ladder is included. Human Resources is
presently evaluating the appropriate salary ranges for the new positions.
- The new job descriptions will be further reviewed by the team of
experts, coming at our request, from the U. S. Department of Justice in September 1999.
ACTION 5: Enhance The Direct Supervision Of Detention Line Staff.
The need to have highly qualified front line supervisors that are not members of the
same union as their staff has been a long standing concern. By utilizing the present
"Assistant Supervisor" classification, which is an excluded position, a new
supervisor deployment proposal is being developed.
- An interim staff enhancement plan has been completed. It is intended
to ensure adequate supervisory, social work, and detention staff on all shifts. It
requires 48 new employees; the filling of 18 vacancies in Juvenile Detention and the
creation of 30 new positions.
- We have proceeded to advertise for the filling of these positions
including Assistant Supervisor, the excluded position that will now be represented on all
three shifts. Final closing date is August 16, 1999.
ACTION 6: Improve Employee Screening And Selection Procedures For Juvenile
Recently the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
(OJJDP) completed a
study on screening for persons working with children. We will be making a request to Shay
Bilchik, the Administrator of OJJDP, to provide us with technical assistance in
redesigning our present screening and selection procedures.
- Effective July 6, 1999, the DCF Child Abuse Registry has been added
to our screening for prospective hires for all Juvenile Detention positions. This is in
addition to the physical exam which includes a drug screen and a criminal history record
- We intend to review our screening process with the experts coming in
at our request from the U. S. Department of Justice in September. It would be important to
point out that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, a bureau of the
federal Justice Department, has recently completed a study on this subject.
ACTION 7: Conduct Additional Targeted Training For Detention Staff In New
We met with representatives from Educational Training Programs Incorporated
discuss immediate training needs for the New Haven staff. They will be visiting the Center
next week to begin to determine the training content. It is anticipated that during the
months of July and August, all New Haven staff will receive a minimum of two days of
training on techniques for managing youth with emotional or cognitive disabilities.
- At our request, ETP has developed a training course outline designed to meet the needs
of the New Haven Detention Center. Topics include: From Policies to Reality, Communication
with Conflict Resolution, and Developmental Stages of Juveniles. Staff training will begin
the week of July 26, 1999 and will continue for two weeks.
- At our request, Lindsay Hayes, Project Director of the National
Center on Institutions and Alternatives, will conduct a review of our suicide prevention
policy and training on September 8 and 9, 1999. Subsequent to this visit, on site training
will be scheduled.
- We have completed a review of existing mental health services
contracts, which include the requirement that they train other Detention staff who deals
with juveniles with mental health problems.
- At our request, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS)
Strategic Leadership Center offered assistance in training. DAS will partner with Trevor
Johnson, Training Coordinator, CSSD, in identifying needs and resources.
ACTION 8: Complete This Years In-Service Training Program For All Detention
Presently all juvenile detention staff are completing their yearly 40 hours of
mandatory training. This training which began in April includes medication administration
and refresher training on suicide prevention which were areas of concern in the DCF
- In-service training continues at the New Haven Detention Center and
will continue to run concurrently with the ETP special training.
ACTION 9: Improve Detention Living Conditions And Increase Available Space.
The first meeting with the architects to design and construct the new Hartford
Detention Center was held this week. The importance of this project to the Branch was
emphasized and an aggressive schedule for its completion is being developed.
In Bridgeport, as an interim step, we have met and are pursuing the potential
conversion of the present Juvenile Court (Clerk Office, Courtroom) to Detention support
Various state and local agencies will be contacted to identify potential space that
might be suitable for use as a detention center.
The Judicial Branch awards a contract to upgrade the heating and air conditioning
system at the New Haven Detention Center; expected to be completed in September 1999.
Since many physical and programmatic enhancements needed at state detention centers are
presently unbudgeted, a search has been initiated to identify new sources of funds to
support the cost of these improvements; this includes federal and state possibilities.
- A package in excess of $4,500,000 is being prepared to secure bonding
for facility improvements at all three detention sites and G.A. 2 in Bridgeport, to where
the Juvenile Court offices would be relocated. Funding includes the purchase of a site for
the new Bridgeport Detention Center; contracting for immediate work to be done in the New
Haven Detention Center on the HVAC system (heating ventilation air conditioning system);
the cost of enclosing a portion of the outdoor recreation area in New Haven, as well as
the cost of furniture, paint, carpentry, and flooring.
- We have reviewed options for girls secure detention and are
proceeding to develop girls beds in secure physical facilities. Ten girls beds
have opened in Hamden; ten beds in will open in Norwalk next week; and ten beds will be
available in Hartford in October 1999. Fourteen additional beds can be purchased and, at
our request, OPM is evaluating the financial feasibility. This would allow more space for
boys and more program space at detention centers and better intervention strategies for
each of the sexes separately.
- Judge Leuba has written to the heads of several state agencies
requesting assistance in locating space for new secure detention centers. The CT National
Guard responded with a suggestion that will be further explored.
ACTION 10: Compare Connecticuts Detention Program With Recognized
National Standards And Other States.
Utilizing the American Corrections Associations National Juvenile Detention
Standards,along with the detention operation recommendations from OJJDPs detention
Conditions Of Confinement Study, we will be conducting a comparative analysis with our
- Review continues on various juvenile justice standards that have been
published. Contacts have been made with benchmark programs from which we are seeking
advice and counsel. Contacts include: Dr. David Roush of Michigan State University; Dr.
Alan Tezak of Juvenile Detention Centers Association of Pennsylvania; New York City
Juvenile Detention Centers; Federal Monitor Don DeVore; Dr. Donald Cohen, Director of the
Yale Child Study Center; and, Dr. Steve Marans, Director for the National Center for
Children Exposed to Violence. A visit is planned to the new New York City Juvenile
Detention Center in the Bronx on Friday, July 23, 1999.
- The results of the Standards Review and national search will be
included in the September 17, 1999, Comprehensive Report.
ACTION 11: Increase Independent Monitoring At The New Haven Detention Center.
In addition to the monitoring that the federal court has been doing in accordance with
the Consent Judgment, we have contracted with the state Child Advocate to provide 25 hours
a week of on sight monitoring at the New Haven Detention Center. A monitor has been
selected and will start June 21, 1999.
- At our request, Mr. Tom Moriarty, hired as the Independent Monitor by
the Office of the Child Advocate, has been on site at the New Haven Detention Center since
June 21, 1999. In his first report, covering June 28 July 4, he indicated, "I
observed no behaviors that I would consider verbally or physically abusive."
- At his suggestion, we will record in the detainee discipline log the
actual time a child is released from room confinement.
- The monitor points out some deficiencies in the area of medicine
administration. We are investigating the cost and feasibility of contracting out all
medicine administration. This report will be ready at the end of July.
- Mr. Moriarty commented that DCF should be asked to provide training
with respect to the mandated reporter law and a letter has been sent to Commissioner
Kristin Ragaglia requesting the above.
ACTION 12: Establish A Committee To Address Detention Overcrowding.
The committee members have been appointed and the Attorney Generals Office is in the
process of modifying the Consent Judgement to include the facilitation of this committee
by the court monitor Don DeVore. A committee work plan has been developed and the first
meeting is planned for early next month.
The first meeting of the Juvenile Detention Overcrowding Committee,
chaired by Judge Ronan, met July 15, 1999. Representatives from the Chief Court
Administrators office, the Office of the States Attorney, the Office of the
Public Defender, the Attorney Generals Office, the Chief Juvenile Judge, other
juvenile judges, members of CSSD, the Federal Monitor, DCF, and OPM were present.
Additional members will to be invited are two members of the Legislature, and the State
Department of Education.
At the first meeting, a presentation was made by Tom White, Director of CSSD
Operations, who reviewed facilities, juvenile profile statistics, current programs and
services. Don DeVore reviewed his involvement with the State of Connecticut and the terms
and conditions of the Court Consent Decree. The next meeting agenda includes presentations
from Don DeVore on the use and purpose of Juvenile Detention; national initiatives to
reduce detention crowding; risk assessment as a guide to placement in detention; case
processing to improve efficiency; and, implementation and monitoring recommendations. Bill
Carbone will present alternatives to placement in detention. The next meeting is scheduled
for Wednesday, August 25, 1999.
ACTION 13: Enhance Medical and Mental Health Services:
- We have consulted Dr. Walter
Anyan, head of Adolescent Medicine at
Yale and Dr. Donald Cohen, Director of Yale Child Study Center who provide and supervise
medical and psychiatric services at New Haven Detention Center. Each is prepared to offer
increased hours in the short run and is reviewing longer-term systemic changes. We expect
to receive a proposal from Yale Child Study Center within the next two weeks, which will
allow Yale Child Study Center to provide medication to detainees three times per day,
seven days per week.
- All providers of mental health services at the detention centers have
been contacted; budgets have been requested to increase the service they provide at each
ACTION 14: Enhance Other Detention Programming
- We are reviewing activity schedules at each detention center with
special regard to the hours of 2pm to 8pm.
- Educationally, we are investigating the possibilities of
incorporating year round school and of starting school earlier in the Detention cycle.
- ETP, a private consulting firm, at our request, is conducting an
educational standards audit in all three state run detention centers, with specific
concentration on New Haven, which will be completed by August 30, 1999. The study will
review policy and practice and make a series of recommendations.
- We are reviewing programmatic options for an Ombudsman Program and
will develop a model in the next two weeks.
- A proposal to increase recreation at the New Haven Detention Center
over the summer months has been submitted and will be acted on this week.
ACTION 15: Explore Funding Sources to Support Detention Improvements.
- At our request, OPM staff have joined our weekly Judicial work group established by
Judge Leuba to recommend a comprehensive set of improvements in the detention center.