1. Only children suspected of or charged with a delinquent act may be held securely at the police station. A child who is suspected or alleged to be from a Family With Service Needs (FWSN) must not be held securely.
Legal basis: CGS §46b-149a(a)(3) says that regarding a FWSN child, the officer “may hold the child in protective custody for a maximum period of twelve hours until the officer can determine a more suitable disposition of the matter, provided ... the child is not held in any locked room or cell.”
2. Any child held securely at the police station must be held separate and apart from any adult offender.
Legal basis: CGS §46b-133(e) says that “Any child confined in a community correctional center or lockup shall be held in an area separate and apart from any adult detainee, except in the case of a nursing infant, and no child shall at any time be held in solitary confinement. When a female child is held in custody, she shall, as far as possible, be in the charge of a woman attendant.”
This “separate and apart” provision is less restrictive than the federal guideline which call for “sight and sound” separation. This guideline is not a federal law, it is a regulation found in the Juvenile Justice and Prevention Act of 2004. Most police department policies conform to the federal standard requiring “sight and sound” separation to minimize the risk of harm to the child and to minimize the liability of the police.
Legal basis: The Juvenile Justice and Prevention Act of 2004 42 U.S.C. 5633 says in §(a)(13) “that no juvenile shall be detained or confined in any jail or lockup for adults except … only if such juveniles do not have contact with adult inmates…” This is the "sight and sound" provision.
3. A child should not be held securely at the police station for more than six hours. The six hours starts when the child is placed in a secure setting and it doesn’t end until the child leaves the building. Removing the child from the secure setting temporarily does not stop the running of the six hours.
The purpose for this regulation is to encourage the prompt removal of a child from a secure setting at the police station. The goal is to either release the child or place the child in a state operated juvenile detention facility as quickly as possible.
There may be situations where it is necessary to hold a child beyond the recommended six hours. Such reasons may include delays in reaching a parent, delays caused by the unavailability to find a judge to obtain a required court order to place the child in the juvenile detention center, the complex nature of the investigation, unavoidable delays caused by weather or traffic or some other crisis.
The consequence of exceeding the six hour limit is not the automatic release of the child or the dismissal of the charges against the child. In such situations, the officer should note the reason(s) for exceeding the six hour limit in the officer’s report.
One possible negative consequence of exceeding the six hour limit might develop if a confession was taken from the child after they were held securely beyond the six hours. An argument would be made that any secure holding of a child at the police station beyond six hours is unreasonable and any confession taken from a child held beyond the six hours should be suppressed.
Legal basis: This six hour limit is not a state law but it is another federal regulation and part of the same Juvenile Justice and Prevention Act of 2004. Specifically 42 U.S.C. 5633(a)(13) says that “no juvenile shall be detained or confined in any jail or lockup for adults except:
(A) juveniles who are accused of nonstatus offenses who are detained in such jail or lock-up for a period not to exceed 6 hours --
4. A log should be maintained that records the time in and out for a child held securely at the police station so that compliance with the requirement that only alleged delinquent children (not FWSN children) are held securely and the six hour limit can be monitored.
5. A 16 or 17 year old charged with both juvenile and adult charges may be placed in a juvenile cell or an adult cell depending on which charge is the basis for the secure hold.
Example A: a 16 or 17 year old is charged with possession of marijuana, a juvenile charge, and operating under the influence, an adult charge. If the department policy is to confine persons suspected of operating under the influence until they sober up, the 16 or 17 year old would be placed in an adult cell, as an adult, because the reason for being confined is the adult charge of operating under the influence. The fact that they also have a juvenile charge pending, the marijuana charge, doesn’t matter.
Example B: a 16 or 17 year old is charged with possession of marijuana, a juvenile charge, and failure to obey a traffic control sign, an adult charge. In that situation, if the person needed to be confined for some reason, it would probably be based on the marijuana charge since persons charged with motor vehicle infractions aren’t generally incarcerated. Since the marijuana charge is a juvenile charge, the person would be held in a juvenile cell, as a juvenile. The fact that they also had an adult traffic ticket pending wouldn’t matter.
1. There are now only two state operated juvenile detention centers in Connecticut. They are located at:
|Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center|
|60 Housatonic Avenue|
|Bridgeport, Ct 06604|
|Hartford Juvenile Detention Center|
|920 Broad Street|
|Hartford, CT 06106|
2. A court order authorizing detention is now required to place any child in a juvenile detention center, regardless of the seriousness of the charge. Such orders include:
3. Any child placed in a secure setting at the police station should be thoroughly searched before being confined and should be monitored at all times while in secure custody.
4. A child should only be held securely at the police station when necessary due to the seriousness of the alleged crime or due to the child exhibiting violent or dangerous conduct or the threat of escape. Secure holding of a child should never be done for the purposes of punishment and the decision to securely hold a child should never be based on the race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or the gender identity or expression of the child.