Substitute Senate Bill No. 475

Public Act No. 00-209

An Act Concerning Escape From Custody, Youthful Offenders And Rearrest Warrants.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 17a-8a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Children and Families [, at his discretion,] may authorize leave for a child convicted as delinquent committed to the Department of Children and Families and assigned to a state facility or private residential program, provided there is a reasonable belief, based on the totality of the information in the possession of the commissioner, that such child will honor the commissioner's trust and is eligible for leave under standards adopted pursuant to 17a-7a. If any such child who is granted leave under this section fails to return to such facility or program, [the] such child shall be guilty of escape from custody pursuant to section 53a-171, as amended by this act. The superintendent or director shall disclose any records created or obtained by the facility or program regarding such child [to the appropriate law enforcement agency] and necessary to facilitate the apprehension and the return of the child to the custody of the commissioner.

Sec. 2. Section 53a-171 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) A person is guilty of escape from custody if [he] such person (1) escapes from custody, or (2) has been convicted as delinquent, has been committed to the Department of Children and Families, and (A) fails to return from a leave authorized under section 17a-8a, as amended by this act, or (B) escapes from a state or private facility or institution in which such person has been assigned or placed by the Commissioner of Children and Families.

(b) If a person has been arrested for, charged with or convicted of a felony, escape from such custody is a class C felony, otherwise, escape from custody is a class A misdemeanor.

Sec. 3. Section 54-76l of the general statutes, as amended by section 17 of public act 99-215, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The records of any youth adjudged a youthful offender, including fingerprints, photographs and physical descriptions, shall be confidential and shall not be open to public inspection or be disclosed except as provided in this section, but such fingerprints, photographs and physical descriptions submitted to the State Police Bureau of Identification of the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety at the time of the arrest of a person subsequently adjudged a youthful offender shall be retained as confidential matter in the files of such bureau, and be opened to inspection only as hereinafter provided. Other data ordinarily received by such bureau, with regard to persons arrested for a crime, shall be forwarded to the bureau to be filed, in addition to the fingerprints, photographs and physical descriptions as mentioned above, and be retained in the division as confidential information, open to inspection only as hereinafter provided.

(b) The records of any youth adjudged a youthful offender on or after October 1, 1995, or any part thereof, may be disclosed to and between individuals and agencies, and employees of such agencies, providing services directly to the youth including law enforcement officials, state and federal prosecutorial officials, school officials in accordance with section 10-233h, court officials, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Office of Adult Probation, the Office of the Bail Commission, the Board of Parole and an advocate appointed pursuant to section 54-221 for a victim of a crime committed by the youth. Such records shall also be available to the attorney representing the youth, in any proceedings in which such records are relevant, to the parents or guardian of such youth, until such time as the youth reaches the age of majority or is emancipated, and to the youth upon his emancipation or attainment of the age of majority, provided proof of the identity of such youth is submitted in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Chief Court Administrator. Such records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed.

(c) The records of any youth adjudged a youthful offender, or any part thereof, may be disclosed upon order of the court to any person who has a legitimate interest in the information and is identified in such order. Records or information disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed.

(d) The records of any youth adjudged a youthful offender, or any part thereof, shall be available to the victim of the crime committed by such youth to the same extent as the record of the case of a defendant in a criminal proceeding in the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court is available to a victim of the crime committed by such defendant. The court shall designate an official from whom such victim may request such information. Information disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed.

(e) Any reports and files held by the Office of Adult Probation regarding any youth adjudged a youthful offender may be disclosed to the Office of the Bail Commission for the purpose of performing the duties contained in section 54-63b.

(f) Information concerning any youth adjudged a youthful offender who has escaped from an institution to which such youth has been committed or for whom an arrest warrant has been issued may be disclosed by law enforcement officials.

Sec. 4. Section 54-2a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) In all criminal cases the Superior Court, or any judge thereof, may issue (1) bench warrants of arrest upon application by a prosecutorial official if the court or judge determines that the affidavit accompanying the application shows that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the person complained against committed it, (2) subpoenas for witnesses, (3) capias for witnesses and for defendants who violate an order of the court regarding any court appearance, and (4) all other criminal process; and may administer justice in all criminal matters.

(b) The court or judge issuing a bench warrant for the arrest of the person or persons complained against [,] shall, in cases punishable by death or life imprisonment, set the conditions of release or indicate that the person or persons named in the warrant shall not be entitled to bail and may, in all other cases, set the conditions of release. The conditions of release, if included in the warrant, shall fix the first of the following conditions [,] which the court or judge finds necessary to assure such person's appearance in court: (1) Written promise to appear; (2) execution of a bond without surety in no greater amount than necessary; or (3) execution of a bond with surety in no greater amount than necessary.

(c) In lieu of a warrant for the rearrest of any defendant who fails to appear for trial at the place and time specified or on any court date thereafter the court or judge may issue a capias.

(d) All process issued by said court or any judge thereof shall be served by any proper officer, or an indifferent person when specially directed to do so, and shall be obeyed by any and all persons and officers to whom the same is directed or whom it may concern.

(e) Whenever a rearrest warrant is issued under this section, the court or judge may cause such warrant to be entered into a central computer system. Existence of the warrant in the computer system shall constitute prima facie evidence of the issuance of the warrant. Any person named in the warrant may be arrested based on the existence of the warrant in the computer system and shall, upon any such arrest, be given a copy of the warrant.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 54-56e of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 99-148, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The court may, in its discretion, invoke such program on motion of the defendant or on motion of a state's attorney or prosecuting attorney with respect to a defendant (1) who, the court believes, will probably not offend in the future, (2) who has no previous record of conviction of a crime or of a violation of section 14-196, subsection (c) of section 14-215, section 14-222a, subsection (a) of section 14-224 or section 14-227a, (3) who has not [previously] been adjudged a youthful offender [on or after October 1, 1995,] within the preceding five years under the provisions of sections 54-76b to 54-76n, inclusive, and (4) who states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under the penalties of perjury that the defendant has never had such program invoked in the defendant's behalf, provided the defendant shall agree thereto and provided notice has been given by the defendant, on a form approved by rule of court, to the victim or victims of such crime or motor vehicle violation, if any, by registered or certified mail and such victim or victims have an opportunity to be heard thereon. In determining whether to grant an application under this section with respect to a person who has been adjudged a youthful offender under the provisions of sections 54-76b to 54-76n, inclusive, more than five years prior to the date of such application, and notwithstanding the provisions of section 54-76l, the court shall have access to the youthful offender records of such person and may consider the nature and circumstances of the crime with which such person was charged as a youth. Any defendant who makes application for participation in such program shall pay to the court an application fee of thirty-five dollars.

Approved June 1, 2000