This morning, Jane escaped police custody while being transported to a court-mandated therapy session. She was found by Hartford police this afternoon and is reportedly being taken back to state custody. At this time the exact conditions of her detention are unknown.
Many wonder why Jane would attempt to escape today, on her way to a therapy session. Let’s look at her history with DCF: From a very young age, Jane was placed by DCF in extremely traumatizing conditions, where she was subject to rape, assault, trafficking and drug exposure. Much of this abuse happened at the hands of DCF employees. Jane was severely punished for having symptoms of PTSD and reacting to inappropriate behavior from staff. Part of this punishment was her detention for over a month at York Correctional, a women’s prison - without any charges being filed. DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, who as head of DCF has the responsibilities of Jane’s guardian, has been hostile to Jane since news of Jane’s imprisonment became publicly known. When asked about Jane’s court affidavit (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1113035-4-14-14affidavit-redacted-reduced.html), in which Jane details the horrific abuse she sustained at the hands of DCF workers, Katz brushed off the statements and did nothing to investigate the situation. Instead, Katz made herself out to be a victim, talking about how difficult her job is and what a monster Jane is. She said that many kids in the care of CT DCF die, and that Jane is lucky to not be one of them.
After community outrage resulted in her release from York, Jane was continuously demonized by Katz, which affected her chances of being placed in an appropriate facility. Furthermore, multiple loving families and individuals have reached out to DCF with the hopes of adopting Jane Doe. DCF has not replied to any of these requests. Most recently she was held for over a month in a solitary cell at the CT Juvenile Training School at Middletown, which is a facility for male youth. She was placed there after being part of a fight where she was attacked. As far as we know, no one else involved in that incident was attacked. Certainly no one else was transferred to a boys’ facility. Today was a turning point and shows that this new program was too little, too late after everything that Jane has endured, including months in solitary confinement.
The promises made to Jane by Katz and DCF were all broken, and Jane is right to mistrust the system that abused her. We urge all of you to put pressure on that system now. Please call, tweet, email and otherwise contact CT DCF and Governor Malloy with the demands that:
- Jane not have charges pressed against her for her escape
- Jane be placed in an appropriate facility that is conducive to her healing and safety, with her input and approval
- Statute 17a-12, which sanctions the indefinite imprisonment of children in DCF care, be repealed
- Commissioner Katz be fired
- There be an independent investigation into CT DCF’s treatment of its vulnerable youth.
Jane has become the public face of the glaring truth that the system is unable to care for those who are most in need. From sanctioned DCF abuse to the racist police violence epidemic to the school-to-prison pipeline to the lack of safe homes and resources for LGBTQ youth, her case is just one example of the inability of the current system to take care of the most vulnerable among us. In fact, as Jane’s case has shown, those more vulnerable youth are most likely to suffer more abuse and humiliation at the hands of the state. We urge anyone and everyone who has been mistreated at the hands of DCF or the Department of Corrections to come out and speak out on September 27 at the DCF headquarters in Hartford.