Recognize or repurpose CT Juvenile Training School, don’t close it

Putting children’s needs first means using the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Walter G. Cady School as part of the toolbox. It appears that some, including those in positions of advocacy and legislation, would carelessly ignore the programs that are in place while trying to create a new and unfunded system.

Individualized treatment for Connecticut children is the goal

For too long the debate over the care of children and young adults in Connecticut with behavioral health needs, developmental disabilities or those in the juvenile justice system has been centered on the wrong issue. Important time, money, and other resources have been spent debating the future of specific programs, rather than focusing on how best to provide care and treatment that will meet individual needs.

CT FOI ruling should challenge Norwalk school board that ‘does not exist’

The state Freedom of Information Commission will decide next month whether allegations of discrimination and racism among Norwalk school board members should be made public. Those who want to keep it all secret point to Norwalk Board of Education bylaw Section 9010: “The board of education does not exist between meetings. Board members have no authority except at a board meeting or when discharging an assignment made by the board.”

A Connecticut story for the U.S. Supreme Court justices

I was nervous. This was my first case before the United States Supreme Court. But here I was, ready to argue against Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association. In this case, a few public school teachers claim they shouldn’t have to pay union dues because it violates their First Amendment rights. A conservative ruling would be bad, extending to Connecticut teachers, many of whom went to jail in the 1970s to win improvements in collective bargaining….

The what and why of ‘due process’

Since Gov. Dannel Malloy announced his intention to issue an executive order barring people who appear on the federal government’s “no-fly” list from buying guns, a debate has ensued about whether such an order would violate a person’s right to “due process.” The purpose of this post is not to join that debate, but instead to help non-lawyer readers understand what the “due process” debate is really about.

Newtown parents condemn conspiracy theorist and his university

It’s been three years since we last embraced our precious little boy, Noah. At 6 years old, he was the youngest child murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. ..The passage of time has nowhere near dimmed the vivid memory of that day nor made it any less difficult for us to cope with the pain and anguish of losing our only son. The heartache of burying a child is a sorrow we would not wish upon anyone. Yet to our horror, we have found that there are some in this society who lack empathy for the suffering of others. Among them are the conspiracy theorists that deny our tragedy was real. They seek us out and accuse us of being government agents who are faking our grief and lying about our loss.

Secret trials for CT 20-somethings would be unconstitutional

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly are to be commended for their 2015 “Second Chance Society” legislation, reversing racist laws that filled our jails with nonviolent drug users, most of them African-American and Latino. But it is ill-advised to pursue announced policies emanating from that corrective action; especially plans for secret trials of defendants in their early 20s.

CJTS teacher: Juvenile offenders’ ‘best chance is with us’

In light of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposal to “Raise the Age” of juveniles to 20, it is time to recognize once and for all that Connecticut’s juvenile delinquent offenders should be sent to the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and not to the state’s youth prison, Manson Youth Institute. Contrary to the Office of the Child Advocate’s misleading and politically-charged claim that we are abusing our residents, the truth of the matter is that the residents of CJTS receive a comprehensive, intensive, and high-quality array of services from dedicated and passionate professionals.