Announcing this month the closing of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown, a reformatory for boys, Gov. Dannel Malloy congratulated himself on what he called the state’s declining rate of juvenile crime.
Deriding his predecessor as governor, John G. Rowland, Malloy called the reformatory “an ill-advised and costly relic of the Rowland era,” adding, “It placed young boys in a prison-like facility, making rehabilitation, healing, and growth more challenging.”
Meanwhile police throughout the state have been lamenting an explosion in juvenile crime, particularly auto theft.
Branford Police Chief Kevin Halloran told the New Haven Register in March that three juveniles from New Haven on a car-stealing spree crashed one of the stolen cars into a pursuing cruiser. The kids, the chief said, were all repeat offenders. Car thefts in Branford are way up recently, the chief added, and he plans to work with other chiefs to strengthen enforcement against juveniles.
Last week, Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley reported the sixth car-theft arrest of a 17-year-old boy from New Britain, coming just nine days after he was released from five months of detention.
“We arrest these juveniles over and over and over,” Foley told WTIC-TV61 in Hartford. “But they just end up right back out here.”
Four days later Hartford police announced the arrest of a 15-year-old boy from Manchester on his fifth car-theft charge.
Last year Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane blamed juvenile justice “reforms,” including the phase-out of the reformatory in Middletown, for emboldening young criminals. The kids increasingly realize that under Malloy administration policy, they are no longer to be punished, just pitied, coddled, and set free unrehabilitated.
Indeed, if the governor gets his way, the secrecy of Connecticut’s juvenile justice system will be extended to offenders older than 18 so the public will learn even less about incorrigibles and the system’s failure both to rehabilitate young offenders and to protect society.
Of course there’s a big problem here but neither the governor nor anyone else in authority in state government will acknowledge it: welfare policy’s destruction of the family and removal of fathers from the lives of their neglected children. This isn’t likely to change until Connecticut has a governor who can distinguish success from failure and knows better than to congratulate himself on the latter.
Spoiled crybabies at Yale
Once upon a time it was regarded as a virtue to work one’s way through college. But apparently this is no longer so at Yale University, where, the New Haven Register reported last week, 70 students protested that full-scholarship students must contribute around $3,000 a year toward the cost of their education, which they can pay by doing menial work for the university.
Twenty protesters were arrested for refusing to leave the university’s financial aid office.
The requirement for a financial contribution from scholarship students, the protesters complained, impairs their participation in the “Yale experience.” That is, it cuts into their social life. They noted that students who can pay Yale’s tuition on their own don’t have this trouble - as if paying full price shouldn’t cover all obligations.
The real grievance here - that some people have more money than others - was trivial. The world will always be so as long as there is any freedom.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.