Settlement with USDOJ to Continue Efforts to Transform the Juvenile Justice System
In July 2010, Governor David A. Paterson announced that New York State reached a Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to significantly improve oversight and operations at four juvenile justice facilities operated by OCFS. (The four facilities were the subject of a DOJ investigation in 2008.) Due to several facility closures, as of August 28, 2013, the facilities subject to the settlement agreement were Finger Lakes Residential Center, Taberg Residential Center (replacing Tryon Girls Residential Center) and Columbia Secure Center for Girls (replacing Tryon Girls Secure Center). The settlement agreement required improvements to the policies and practices dealing with the use of restraints, incident reporting, emergency response, and mental health care for youth placed at the four facilities.
OCFS has made significant strides in reforming the juvenile justice system. In September 2014, the DOJ determined that Columbia Secure Center for Girls was in compliance with the settlement agreement, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York granted the DOJ’s motion to release Columbia from the settlement agreement. Taberg Residential Center, Finger Lakes Residential Center, and certain central operations relating to staff hiring, investigation, and employee discipline remain subject to the settlement agreement.