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Local 2663 Members Say Girls Facility Long Overdue

In a letter to the editor published Oct. 26, Local 2663 President Paul Lavallee takes the Rell administration to task for dragging its feet on a safe and secure state detention facility for juvenile female offenders.

"Our union, whose members include juvenile justice and parole employees, testified before the General Assembly in early 2002. We warned lawmakers and then-Gov. John G. Rowland about the terrible consequences that would result from closing Long Lane without a plan to provide a safe, secure, state-run facility for female juveniles," Lavallee wrote.

"Sadly, our warnings came true, time and again," he continued. "Just ask our juvenile parole officers, who have driven all over the state trying to situate these girls in a safe and healthy environment, only to learn that some wound up at York Correctional Institution.

Gov. Rell on Oct. 20 proposed the construction of a $15 million juvenile detention facility for girls in Bridgeport. The State Bond Commission, however, postponed action on Rell's proposal at an Oct. 30 hearing. The governor withdrew her proposal later that day.

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