Senator Nozzolio: The Gossett Center Should Stay and Commissioner Carrion Needs to Resign

Michael F. Nozzolio

December 23, 2010

New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio today voiced opposition and raised serious concerns with proposed plans to dismantle the State juvenile justice system by allowing localities to operate their own juvenile justice services. It has been proposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others that the Office of Children and Family Services transfer the juvenile justice system to local community-based programs. This proposal would include the closure of the Louis Gossett Jr. Center in Lansing.

"I strongly disagree with recommendation that the Gossett Center be closed and have their services transferred back to places like New York City,” said Senator Nozzolio, “It was New York City’s inability to properly operate the juvenile system in the first place that created the need for facilities like the Gosset Center.”

“The proposal does not address the serious question of what to do with those youth who are too dangerous to be placed in a community based program,” said Senator Nozzolio. “I again call for the overdue resignation of Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion, the person responsible for mismanaging this entire system.”

Commissioner Carrion has been systematically dismantling the juvenile justice system since she took over, having released thousands of dangerous and violent youth offenders. The most glaring example of Commissioner Carrion’s mismanagement was last year, when 19 year old Anthony Allen murdered 24 year old Renee Greco, a youth counselor at a private facility in Niagara County.

“Clearly, Commissioner Carrion has mismanaged an already broken system. Any proposal to close the Lewis Gossett Center and to dismantle the system would only deepen the problems and increase the risk for more tragedies like the incident in Niagara County,” said Senator Nozzolio.

Senator Nozzolio, is currently a member of the Special Legislative Task Force on Reform of the New York State Juvenile Justice System and has been working to strengthen the system, provide safety to our communities, and give youth offenders a path back into society. “The juvenile justice system clearly needs reform. However, dismantling the system and placing violent young adults back into our communities would be ill-advised and irresponsible,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.