Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York yesterday unveiled his budget plan to policymakers, and included significant juvenile justice reforms in the plan.
After previously closing some of the state’s juvenile lockups due to their ineffectiveness, Governor Cuomo is now asking lawmakers to close additional facilities and to send lower risk youths from New York City to facilities back in their hometown.
New York’s juvenile facilities are expensive and they often don’t work. Right on Crime has previously noted the extraordinary recidivism rates for youth exiting state lockup facilities in New York: over 80% return to a facility of some sort within ten years, and costs stretch over $250,000 per year.
Under Governor Cuomo’s plan, youth currently in non-secure facilities would begin receiving programming closer to home in the next biennium; in the 2014-2015 biennium, youth in limited-secure facilities would be transitioned closer to home.
Not only would this plan reduce the high costs (with few effective outcomes) of state lockups, but research shows that delinquent youth in programs closer to home are generally more effective.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, who would be responsible for working with the state to create the community-based facilities for youth returned to the City, issued a statement supporting the plan.