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House Bill No. 6703

Public Act No. 13-302

AN ACT CONCERNING YOUTH VIOLENCE AND GANG ACTIVITY.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013) (a) For the purposes of this section: (1) "Criminal gang" means a formal or informal organization, association or group of three or more persons that has: (A) As one of its primary activities the commission of one or more criminal acts; (B) members who individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in one or more criminal acts; and (C) an identifying name, sign or symbol, or an identifiable leadership or hierarchy; and (2) "criminal act" means conduct constituting a felony, as defined in section 53a-25 of the general statutes, or a misdemeanor, as defined in section 53a-26 of the general statutes, other than a violation of this section.

(b) A person is guilty of recruiting a member of a criminal gang when, with knowledge that membership or continued membership in such criminal gang is conditioned upon the commission of a criminal act, or with intent to facilitate the criminal acts of such criminal gang, such person knowingly causes, encourages, solicits, recruits, intimidates or coerces a person under eighteen years of age to join, participate in or remain a member of such criminal gang.

(c) Recruiting a member of a criminal gang is a class A misdemeanor.

Sec. 2. (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) For the purposes of this section, "child" has the meaning provided in section 46b-120 of the general statutes, "youth" has the meaning provided in section 46b-120 of the general statutes, and "community-based service centers" has the meaning provided in section 46b-149e of the general statutes.

(b) The Court Support Services Division within the Judicial Branch shall conduct a pilot program, within available resources, in the cities of Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven, designed to reduce the number of children and youths who come into contact with the juvenile justice system and reduce recidivism among delinquent children and youths. Probation officers within the division shall collaborate with local police departments, federal agencies, youth service bureaus and community-based service centers that are willing to participate in the pilot program to identify children and youths at risk of coming into contact with the juvenile justice system and children and youths convicted as delinquent for referral to the pilot program. Under the pilot program, participating officers and agencies shall (1) meet formally or informally with at-risk children and youths to inform such children and youths of the juvenile justice consequences of violent behavior and of criminal possession of deadly weapons, and (2) make unannounced visits to the homes, schools and workplaces of children and youths who are under the supervision of a probation officer, including, but not limited to, visits during evening hours.

(c) Not later than February 1, 2014, the Chief Court Administrator shall submit a report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children and the judiciary, describing the pilot program, findings made under the pilot program and recommendations for expansion or continuation of the pilot program.

Approved July 12, 2013