legislative session

House Passes Youth Crime Bill, Now Heads to Senate

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The state House of Representatives gave its approval to a youth crime bill on Thursday.

The bipartisan vote was 129 yes to 17 no.

Amid growing outcry over crime in the state, including car thefts and break-ins, people have been calling for change.

“This is not perfect but this is a step in the right direction. We need to do more,” said Rep. Geraldo Reyes, D – Waterbury.

In the House, it was explained that the proposed bill would increase the time law enforcement can hold a youth from six to eight hours.

In addition, authorities would have more access to juvenile records.

It also provides an option of GPS monitoring for some repeat offenders with another goal: helping to prevent these offenders from car thefts.

“What we do in this law is we say the first charge is going to be this. But you do it again it’s going to be higher. You do it again it’s going to be higher,” said Rep. Craig Fishbein, R – Wallingford.

When bullets flew in New Haven earlier this month, Representative Robyn Porter remembers gunfire striking the home of her neighbor, a state senator.

“I have to worry about being shot at home in my house,” said Porter.

She spoke against the bill.

“We’re talking about building in more punishment and there is data and research that supports that punitive measures don’t work. It is about restorative justice,” said Porter.

However, some don’t think the bill is tough enough.

“Let’s all understand this bill won’t fix the problem of crime here in the state of Connecticut,” said Rep. Jason Perillo, R – Shelton.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

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