Contact: Latia Curry | Latia.Curry@chamber.state.ny.us | phone: 212.681.4640 | fax: 212.681.4608
Dept. of Justice Report on Juvenile Detention – The following statement was issued in response to a final report issued by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, following a comprehensive investigation of conditions at four OCFS juvenile residential facilities:
“When I was appointed Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in January of 2007, I inherited a juvenile justice system rife with substantial systemic problems. As a result, I immediately initiated a complete overhaul of the system to make it safer and to improve outcomes for our children. This ongoing transformation of juvenile justice includes the implementation of numerous, nationally recognized, evidence-based best practices including shifting from a “custody and control” model of juvenile justice to a trauma-informed therapeutic model, a new restraint policy, and the hiring of additional mental health workers.
“More than eighteen months into this transformation, we have made great strides but much more still needs to be done. I am extremely grateful to Governor Paterson for his commitment to ensuring the safety of our children and his continued support for improving the system. Under his leadership, last September, we created the Task Force on Transforming New York’s Juvenile Justice System to investigate, among other things, the conditions of confinement for juveniles across the state. We welcome the findings of that Task Force as we continue to look for ways to improve New York’s juvenile justice system.”