Senator Catharine Young has written a letter to Governor David Paterson requesting the state does not close the non-secure Great Valley Residential Center until a study is completed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to determine recidivism rates in residential versus community-based programs.
Senator Young also has asked OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrion to give the Senate official figures regarding where youth from Western New York currently are being served.
"It is my understanding through conversations with OCFS that several of our young people are being shipped up to five or six hours away. If OCFS has changed its policy to keep juveniles closer to home, why are our kids from Western New York the ones who are being sent across the state?" Sen. Young said.
In February, the Cattaraugus County Legislature passed a resolution requesting the state convert the site to a limited secure facility. Senator Young has contacted county and other local officials to gain their support keeping the non-secure center open until the research is evaluated.