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Senate Passes Youth Crime Bill, Heads to Governor's Desk

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The Senate passed a youth crime bill late Wednesday afternoon and now, it's waiting for the final stamp of approval.

During the pandemic, youth-related crimes have accelerated. It's something lawmakers are addressing with House Bill 5417.

It will increase the time law enforcement can hold a youth from six to eight hours.

"Too many people in Connecticut see regularly that there are crime increasing in their community," said Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly.

Democratic Sen. Saud Anwar is co-sponsor of the bill and has championed its passing, but says some may view it from a different perspective than his.

"Some of my colleagues want all of the kids to go to prison. Which is ridiculous," Anwar said. "We need a prevention strategy. We need an early identification strategy. And we need a strategy to take care of the ones who are breaking the law."

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

Anwar said the focus should be on rehabilitation efforts rather than the punishment.

Authorities will also have more access to juvenile records and it provides an option of GPS monitoring for some repeat offenders.

The bill passed in the House last week. Now, it heads to the governor's desk.

"We appreciate the legislature for sending this bill to the governor. As with all bills, the governor and his staff will need to carefully review it," a spokesperson for Gov. Lamont said.

The legislative session is over at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

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