Conn. Department of Children and Families

ct.gov

A lawsuit has been filed against the commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families over criminal sexual abuse charges that were brought against a gay couple who adopted 9 children from DCF.

In 2011, Douglas Wirth and George Harasz were accused of sexually abusing two of their adopted sons. In 2014, Wirth was found not guilty, and the case against Harasz was dismissed because one of the boys would not take the stand and the state lacked evidence.

Officials with Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families testified at a hearing with lawmakers and advocates on Thursday, two days after the state’s Child Advocate released videos showing boys and girls being illegally restrained and secluded at the state’s two juvenile detention facilities.

Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate released an investigative report in July saying children were being illegally restrained and secluded at the two juvenile detention facilities run by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). On Sept. 15, the Child Advocate decided to release confidential surveillance videos that show children attempting suicide after staff secluded them during an emotional crisis.

Craig LeMoult

Connecticut lawmakers called a hearing Friday to ask the Department of Children and Families how the state’s two secure juvenile detention facilities, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for Boys (CJTS) and the Pueblo Unit for girls, are changing.

Craig LeMoult

Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz answered questions from state lawmakers about two reports that found widespread mistreatment of boys and girls in the two juvenile detention facilities that are run directly by DCF.

Katz told the general assembly’s children’s committee at an Aug. 8 informational hearing that there have been improvements at the facilities. She said the population at the boys’ detention center has never been lower than today.

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