SENATOR NOZZOLIO RENEWS CALL FOR OCFS COMMISSIONER’S RESIGNATION AFTER FURTHER EVIDENCE OF VIOLENCE IN JUVENILE CENTERS
With shocking new video evidence revealing continued violence and mismanagement in New York’s juvenile centers, State Senator Mike Nozzolio is renewing his call for the immediate resignation of Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Commissioner Gladys Carrion.
Security video footage, unveiled by a former New York State Commission of Corrections employee, showed residents violently assaulting each other and staff in the State’s four juvenile secure centers, including a gang attack on a 65-year old female teacher.
“These videos are the latest evidence of the dangerous environment that staff and residents face every day at these facilities as a result of Commissioner Carrion’s mismanagement and irresponsible policies,” said Senator Nozzolio. “This evidence confirms the numerous reports that I have heard from OCFS staff of violent incidents that have erupted at juvenile centers across the State due to her failed leadership. Commissioner Carrion needs to step down immediately before even more horrific violence occurs.”
The newly-released footage shows nearly a dozen brutal attacks including a staff member being knocked out in a gym by two residents; a 65-year old female teacher being thrown to the ground during a classroom eruption; a resident sent to the hospital after a punch knocked him out; gang retaliations against other residents and staff; and numerous group assaults and riots that took staff hours to subdue in some cases.
Senator Nozzolio has repeatedly called for the removal of Commissioner Carrion for her coddling of the violent offenders under her jurisdiction and wasting of taxpayer dollars. When the Commissioner testified at a Senate-Assembly hearing on the State budget last month, Senator Nozzolio sharply criticized her policy of rewarding juveniles serving time in OCFS facilities who have committed serious and violent crimes with a number of taxpayer-financed parties and other perks.
Senator Nozzolio also cited the fact that the number of violent incidents against staff in the State's OCFS facilities has increased dramatically even as the number of juvenile offenders in these facilities has declined. Early release polices implemented by Commissioner Carrion have resulted in higher recidivism rates and deadly violence in our communities. In June of 2009, Renee Greco, a 24-year-old youth counselor in Lockport, New York, was killed by Anthony Allen, who was discharged from OCFS supervision despite his violent history.
“Commissioner Carrion’s approach is clearly not working. Her reckless policies, poor leadership, and lack of oversight have endangered the lives of the men and women who work in the State’s OCFS facilities and made our streets and communities less safe,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.