Publications



Incarcerated Parents and Termination of Parental Rights in Connecticut: Recommendations for Reform

Publication Date: March 12th, 2021 • Rights & Justice
Authors: Allison Durkin; Destiny Lopez; Eleanor Roberts

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Connecticut Voices for Children released a report with the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School (CJAC) that examines the collateral consequences of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) on children with incarcerated parents. The report, “Incarcerated Parents and Termination of Parental Rights in Connecticut: Recommendations for Reform,” examines the unintended impacts of ASFA, a federal law passed in 1997 that shifted the goal of child-protection policy from family preservation to adoption, and outlines 18 recommendations to protect parental rights and promote the welfare of children with incarcerated parents.

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Reduce, Reinvest, and Do Right: A Model to Estimate Savings from Reducing Connecticut’s Youth Detention, Invest in Nonprofit Community Organizations, and Help Communities Thrive

Publication Date: November 5th, 2020 • Rights & Justice
Authors: Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., Ariana Christakis, Ryan Wilson

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Connecticut Voices for Children released a new report, “Reduce, Reinvest, and Do Right: A Model to Estimate Savings from Reducing Connecticut’s Youth Detention, Invest in Nonprofit Community Organizations, and Help Communities Thrive,” that examines the marginal daily cost of keeping youth in detention and recommends ways for the state to reduce the use of detention and invest associated funds in nonprofit services that work to reduce youth crime rates. The report contains three key analyses: 1) the variable cost of keeping one youth in detention for one day, 2) the statewide and within-city costs of operating nonprofit community organizations shown to reduce crime rates, and 3) estimates anticipated crime reduction for adding nonprofit community organizations in Connecticut’s five largest cities.  The report also includes recommendations that are classified into three main areas: 1) to decrease the use of detention, 2) to invest funding such that Connecticut reduces arrests and serves communities, and 3) to improve the transparency of justice costs.

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Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022

Publication Date: July 27th, 2020 • Emerging Issues, Employment & Education, Fiscal & Economics, Health & Housing, Rights & Justice
Authors: Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., Patrick O'Brien, Ph.D.; Emily Byrne, M.P.A.; Sana Shah, M.S.; Ryan Wilson; Erin Sheehan; Susana Barragan

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Connecticut Voices for Children released their Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022.  Versions of this document have been developed throughout the 25 years of the organization’s history. As the state experiences the convergence of a health crisis, an economic recession due to that crisis, and a contentious and long-overdue conversation on race, the “Book” has been refreshed given Voices’ new, strategic aim toward economic justice and these unprecedented times. The Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022 is designed to be a starting point for shared knowledge around the research and recommendations that are fundamental to family economic security and the undergirding fiscal and economics, with the hope of advancing shared action.

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Federal Efforts to Address the Coronavirus Pandemic & the Ensuing and Precipitous Economic Downturn

Publication Date: April 24th, 2020 • Emerging Issues, Employment & Education, Fiscal & Economics, Health & Housing, Rights & Justice
Authors: Shelley Geballe, J.D., M.P.H.

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Connecticut Voices for Children released a report that outlines the three, large, coronavirus-related Congressional bills to date. The report, entitled “Federal Efforts to Address the Coronavirus Pandemic & the Ensuing and Precipitous Economic Downturn” examines The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-123), which became law on March 6, 2020; The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127), which became law on March 18, 2020; The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), which became law March 27, 2020; and The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (P.L. 116-139), which became law April 24, 2020.  This report, in three parts, describes the key provisions of these federal efforts, with emphasis on those most relevant to Connecticut children and families.

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No Place for Child: Alternatives for Children Under 12 in Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice System

Publication Date: February 7th, 2020 • Rights & Justice
Authors: Carl Jiang

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Connecticut Voices for Children released a report entitled ‘No Place for  Child: Alternatives for Children Under 12 in Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice System.’ Children as young as 7 are subject to arrest and detention in the state’s juvenile justice system.  Connecticut Voices engaged in developmental, legal, and social science research to investigate this phenomenon and the implications it has on children, their families, and our state.  This report includes a set of recommendations that includes raising the minimum age of juvenile court jurisdiction to age 12.

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Finding Your Voice: Supporting the Self-Advocacy of Youth in the Care of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families

Publication Date: January 7th, 2020 • Rights & Justice
Authors: Jessica Nelson, Ryan Wilson, Lauren Ruth, Ph.D.

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Connecticut Voices for Children released a report that examined the importance of supporting self-advocacy skills for youth in the care of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). After conducting extensive research using interviews, focus groups and surveys, the study finds evidence that youth in State care are more likely to fall behind on a number of metrics including education, housing, and college persistence. In response to these findings, Voices has developed recommendations that focus on changes to policy, programs, and employment practices as well as modifications in State law and funding to support these modifications. By establishing strong self-advocacy skills, Connecticut’s youth in care will be better prepared to address the challenges of being in care and have more confidence to strive towards their goals for the future.

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2019 Legislative Session Review

Publication Date: July 18th, 2019 • Employment & Education, Fiscal & Economics, Health & Housing, Rights & Justice
Authors: Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., Karen Siegel, M.P.H., Ellen Scalettar, J.D., Susana Barragan, & Jessica Nelson

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While the status quo state budget plan approved by policymakers did not offer many bold new investments in children and families, other policy changes approved during this year’s legislative

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Impact of the Final FY 2020-2021 Budget on Children and Families

Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019 • Employment & Education, Fiscal & Economics, Health & Housing, Rights & Justice
Authors: Ellen Scalettar, J.D.; Lauren Ruth, Ph.D.; Karen Siegel, M.P.H; Sharon Langer, J.D.

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The state’s final biennial budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 could be characterized as a status quo budget.

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Impact of the FY 2020-2021 Appropriations and Finance Committee Budget and Revenue Proposals on Children and Families

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2019 • Employment & Education, Fiscal & Economics, Health & Housing, Rights & Justice
Authors: Jamie Mills, J.D., Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., Karen Siegel, M.P.H., Wendy Waithe Simmons, Ph.D., Camara Stokes Hudson, Jessica Nelson, and Sharon Langer, J.D.

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While the state budget proposals by the General Assembly protect many programs that serve children and families from budget cuts, rigid and counterproductive budget rules are starving schools, infr

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Policing Connecticut’s Hallways: The Prevalence and Impact of School Resource Officers in Connecticut

Publication Date: April 17th, 2019 • Employment & Education, Rights & Justice
Authors: Camara Stokes Hudson, Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., and Wendy Waithe Simmons, Ph.D.

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While the presence of police officers in Connecticut schools does not appear to contribute to a safer school climate or improved academic outcomes, it may contribute to more Latino students being a

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