The number of incarcerated 16-year-old boys has increased by more than 60 percent since 2002, Connecticut corrections official Mary Marcial said yesterday, the Hartford Courant reports. The state is raising a generation without hope, said Elaine Zimmerman of the Connecticut Commission on Children, in which families, schools, and communities are increasingly unable to provide the resources struggling children desperately need.
Zimmerman and other advocates said at a forum that they will push for a variety of prevention initiatives this legislative session, including funding to reduce truancy, create more after-school programsm, and increase summer employment for youths to keep them out of trouble. Expanding juvenile review boards and increasing funding to local youth service bureaus could also help divert youngsters from jails and detention centers, they said. Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts said adults need to raise their expectations of kids, listen to them, and stop talking down to them. State Rep. Toni Walker said many of the programs the state relied on to help children in the past aren’t working.