In Re: Alexander
Connecticut General Statutes §46b-129(j) provides, "Upon finding and adjudging that any child or youth is uncared for . . . the court may commit such child or youth to the Commissioner of Children and Families." The state charged the minor, 17, with sexually assaulting a 3-year-old child. The youth was on probation and previously had been found delinquent in Vermont, where a court had found that he sexually abused a 5-year-old child, and in Connecticut, where a court had found that he inappropriately touched a 4-year-old child. The youth's case was transferred to the adult docket. The youth pled guilty to third-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. The youth's guardian ad litem, Robert Moore, filed a petition, alleging the youth was uncared for and homeless, because his home cannot provide the special care he requires as a result of his physical, emotional or mental conditions. The Department of Children and Families objected. The court credited the testimony of the youth's parents that they are concerned about the safety of his younger brothers and will not permit the youth to reside in their home. Attorney Moore credibly testified that the youth is effectively homeless, because his home cannot meet his requirements for sexual offender treatment. "[I]f he is released from [Department of Correction] custody at any time prior to his 18th birthday," wrote the court, "the evidence proved that he would be a homeless youth, and that his home could not provide the specialized care that his emotional or mental conditions [require]." The youth's guardian ad litem proved that the youth qualified as uncared for. The Department of Children and Families indicated it was unwilling to place the youth at Stetson School. A State of Connecticut treatment center for adult sexual offenders in Montville would not be appropriate, because the median age of the sex offenders is 40. The court scheduled another hearing, because if the youth receives a sentence that returns him to the community, before he is 18 years old, commitment to the Department of Children and Families may be required to protect the youth's safety.