ACS Schedules Forums on "Close to Home"
February 27th, 2012
The Administration for Children’s Services has scheduled four of five community hearings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Close to Home Initiative” that would take New York City’s juvenile delinquents out of the state detention system and allow the city to provide them with the placements they think are best for them and near their homes. As I wrote today, the initiative is part of Cuomo’s budget and has been something Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been pressing for for years–as the state system is costly and known for violence and mismanagement.
ACS Commissioner Ronald Richter says that his agency and the State Office of Children and Family Services have been meeting almost weekly to set up the system that will see the state hand over control of the city’s juvenile delinquents. Under Cuomo’s initiative non-secure offenders will be transferred to the city in September and limited secure offenders would be transferred in April 2013.
“We have a number of reasons to be very encouraged by it,” Richter said of the “Close to Home Initiative,”† “families haven’t had a chance to be involved in rehabilitation and it has long been a missing piece of the juvenile justice system. They don’t have a donít have parent their to help them figure out why they made these bad choices. It has been a real deficit in† the juvenile† justice system and they also haven’t had the opportunity for an accredited education. We are going to give them one and† thatís a big deal for us.”
Richter says he is excited to start the hearings so that he can hear from city residents about how to move forward.
“I’m hoping we will be attentive to appropriate cautionary notes. We will listen to the kids, parents and legislators to make sure we are reflective of their concerns. We cant just make a new juvenile justice system in September. Its wrong to suggest everything will be ideal on that day. We are always trying to improve.”
Here are the dates of the four scheduled hearings. Another hearing in the Bronx is expected to be set by the end of the week:
Brooklyn–East New York/Brownsville
Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Van Dyke Community Center NYCHA
392 Blake Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Queens Educational Opportunity Center
158-29 Archer Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11433
Friday, March 16, 2012, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
2180 Third Avenue (corner of 119th Street), New York, NY 10035
Monday, March 26, 2012, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Gerard Carter Community Center
230 Broad Street, Staten Island, NY 10304By David King on February 27, 2012, 4:57 pm
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