Just weeks after scathing reports about the abysmal failure of the Close to Home juvenile “reform” program diverting youthful offenders from state juvenile justice facilities to inadequate New York City based programs, the Cuomo administration is doubling down on bad policy and moving to close two more centers.
Earlier this month Queens Family Court Judge John Hunt called the governor’s initiative to move juvenile offenders from state run facilities into New York City programs that are obviously unequipped to handle them “a threat to public safety” after court documents exposed repeated failures with the program, including a lack of security so bad that youthful offenders were able to walk away at will. At one point, 50 youths in the program (about one in four) were missing at the same time.
CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “It makes no sense whatsoever to put dangerous individuals back into the very neighborhoods where they got in trouble in the first place.”
The way NYC juvenile staffing at the high administrative levels works is that employees who created unsafe environments in other states were removed or forced to resign. These same people then migrate to NYC. NYC is generally the last stop on the state circuits. Then, when they cannot cut it in NYC, they get demoted to a Federal position.
In a related story, the Bloomberg Administration (whose Administration for Children’s Services ACS, is currently staffed by rejected employees from other states) is moving ahead to take over Crown Heights juvenile detention facility from OCFS. Bloomberg is promising neighbors that none of the underage criminals will get loose. Based on the track record ACS has had with the other NYC juvenile facilities where one in 4 youths were missing at any given time, if I was one of the neighbors, I wouldn’t count on the incompetence of ACS to make good on Bloomberg’s word.