Connecticut's top child welfare official is trying again to establish a residential center for troubled girls.
Commissioner Joette Katz said on Tuesday that the Department of Children and Families plans to spend up to $3.5 million to convert a building on the grounds of a former psychiatric center in Middletown next year. It would provide residential treatment for girls between the ages of 13 and 18.
Girls are now in detention centers for minor infractions or are in private residential programs and many have been sexually abused.
Unlike private residential centers where girls walk away, the Middletown facility would be locked.
The state has not had a facility for troubled girls since it shut the Long Lane center in 2003. A plan by then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell to build a detention center for girls failed in 2009.