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Judicial Branch Moves to New Courthouse for Juvenile Matters in Willimantic

HARTFORDJudge Robert C. Leuba, Chief Court Administrator for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, announced the opening of the new courthouse for Juvenile Matters in Willimantic today.

The new Superior Court for Juvenile Matters, an 18,545 square-feet facility, opened its doors on 81 Columbia Avenue this morning, providing more than six times the space available in the old site at 316 Pleasant Street.

"The opening of this courthouse, which replaces one of our most overcrowded juvenile facilities, is another step in our long-range commitment to provide ongoing improvements and state-of-the-art enhancements to the juvenile component of our justice system," said Judge Leuba.

"This new facility greatly increases the services that the Judicial Branch can provide for the families, attorneys, citizens and employees that must use the Courthouse," he added. "By providing an additional courtroom, more parking, an expanded holding area and ample space for offices, the Judicial Branch can offer increased efficiency in its day-to-day operations as well as space for expansion as the community needs increase over time."

The State of Connecticut has a 10-year lease for the one-floor Courthouse, which has 75 parking spaces, an additional courtroom to handle increasing caseloads, a holding area for juveniles with five secure rooms and a sallyport. The previous building had just 12 parking spaces, one courtroom and a modified holding cell.

The building also provides adequate office space for Juvenile Probation, court officers, court monitors, interpreters and clerical staff as well as agencies participating in the adjudication process, including Public Defenders, Assistant Attorney Generals, volunteers and other state agencies.

In addition, the security system has been upgraded and improved for the staff, juveniles and the public. These improvements include electronic security features such as x-ray and metal detectors at the entrances, private circulation systems for staff and prisoner movement throughout the facility, closed circuit television monitoring, card readers for entry and duress alarms throughout the building.

Monday morning, before he was to take the Bench for the first time in the new facility, Presiding Judge Michael A. Mack said proudly, "This building is reflective of Judge Leuba’s commitment to Juvenile Court in the State of Connecticut and, is further testimony that Juvenile Court is recognized as an extremely important part of our judicial system."

The Willimantic facility is the second juvenile courthouse to open this year. In February Juvenile Matters in Torrington moved to a more spacious building. There are now 13 juvenile courthouses in the state. Next Spring Juvenile Matters in Uncasville will move to new quarters in Waterford.

For information contact Ginny Apple, Manager of Communications, 860-757-2270.


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