NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission will wrap up its work Friday, more than two years after the Newtown shootings.

The 16-member panel was created by Gov. Dannel Malloy after the December 2012 massacre. Members were tasked with reviewing policies and issuing recommendations for improvements to school safety and changes to gun laws and the state’s mental health care system.

A 256-page draft report was released and posted online last month.

Early in the report, commission members concede “no school can be totally free of the risk of violence,” short of transforming them into gated, prison-like facilities. But the group recommended safe school design and operation strategies and closer coordination with law enforcement, mental health experts and security professionals as a way to help make safer school environments possible.

“This report goes far further. For instance, mental health– there are over 52 recommendations, much of it around the early identification of individuals who are suffering from mental health challenges, particularly as youths, making sure they get the full array of services that allow them to live a full and complete life. But that does require a level of identification and intervention,” Gov. Malloy told WCBS 880.

Some of the recommendations, especially those focusing on gun control, were included in an interim report in 2013 that called for ensuring classroom doors can be locked from the inside, limits on ammunition purchases and the registration of all firearms in the state.

Committee member Ron Chivinsky, a teacher at Newtown Middle School which is about a mile from Sandy Hook Elementary School, was astounded to learn not all teachers were given keys to lock classroom doors in an emergency.

“Some of these locks that have existed where you have to actually step out into the hallway to lock the door,” Chivinsky said.

Adam Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 before killing himself. Questions about Lanza’s mental state and his access to treatment prompted the commission to closely examine Connecticut’s mental health system, which the draft report called “fragmented and underfunded” and “tainted by stigma.”

In the draft report, the group recommended the state build a system that goes beyond treating mental illness and fosters healthy families and individuals.

Commission members commented that the concern for mental illness, from which Lanza suffered, brought the biggest challenge, especially risk assessment for the mentally ill.

They pointed out that more about Lanza’s mental state prior to the shooting may never be known because he also killed his mother, the person with the most insight into his problems.

The group will present its final report to the governor Friday.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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