Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Youth-Justice Advocates Concerned as Crime Bill Heads to Gov's Desk


Tuesday, May 10, 2022   

A youth crime bill passed by the Connecticut General Assembly has been sent to Gov. Ned Lamont's desk, even as some youth-justice advocates view the bipartisan bill as a step backward for the state.

House Bill 5417 would increase penalties for some serious crimes, with the maximum juvenile sentence extended to up to five years. It also would increase the amount of time a young person could be detained while awaiting a judge's ruling, from six to eight hours.

Christina Quaranta, executive director of the Connecticut Justice Alliance, said the bill does not do enough to address the youth mental-health crisis which may lead to behavioral issues.

"Putting on different harmful band-aids or stopgaps is not going to get us where we need to go," Quaranta asserted. "What drives meaningful change is addressing the root causes and really helping people get what they need, because nobody wants to do things that are wrong or make bad decisions. People naturally want to be productive members of society."

A spokesperson for the governor said the bill will be reviewed for consideration. Quaranta pointed out the Justice Alliance plans to host community conversations about youth crime in Connecticut this summer. The first is scheduled for May 23 in Bridgeport.

The legislation was introduced as a response to a perceived increase in car theft and other crime in the state in 2020. Car thefts in the state increased 40% between 2019 and 2020, although data has shown young people were not responsible for most of them.

Quaranta noted behavioral issues like crime can be directly connected to the pandemic.

"If the State of Connecticut wants to continue to make decisions based on periods of time when we were in wide distress, that's a problem," Quaranta contended. "The Legislature moved this session to pass sweeping mental health legislation that will, hopefully, actually help young people deal with the impacts of the pandemic."

Car thefts had fallen to historic lows through 2019. The General Assembly also passed House Bill 5001, which aims to increase the availability of mental-health and behavioral-health services to young people in the state.

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021