On December 14, 2007, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation of conditions at four Office of Children and Family Services facilities: Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls Residential Center. ...
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On December 14, 2007, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation of conditions at four Office of Children and Family Services facilities: Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls Residential Center. The investigations was conducted pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. On August 14, 2009, the DOJ published in its findings letter that the facilities had violated the due process rights of the imamates. Although the DOJ offered opportunities to cure these deficiencies, negotiations between the parties were unsuccessful.
On July 14, 2010, the United States filed suit against the State of New York and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services in the Northern District of New York under 42 U.S.C. § 14141. The government alleged the harms outlined in the findings letter, specifically that defendants had failed to take reasonable measures to prevent staff from inflicting serious harm on youths and had failed to provide adequate mental health care and services in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The government sought declaratory relief, and an order permanently enjoining defendants from continuing the alleged acts.
On the same day, the parties filed a joint motion to enter a settlement agreement. The agreement put forth a remedial plan addressing each of the issues identified in the DOJ's original investigation. It also identified a monitoring team that would produce status reports approximately every six months regarding the facilities' compliance with implementing the settlement provisions. The settlement would last until the facilities achieved substantial conformance with the settlement terms for twelve consecutive months. On July 19, 2010, Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. approved the settlement agreement.
In January 2011, the State closed Tryon Residential Center. Tryon boys were transferred to Finger Lakes Residential Center (formerly Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center). In August 2011, the State closed Tryon Girls Residential Center. Tryon girls were transferred to Taberg Residential Center for Girls (Taberg) and Columbia Girls Secure Center. Both parties agreed that Taberg and Columbia would be monitored under the Settlement Agreement.
On September 4, 2014, the parties filed a joint motion to dismiss Columbia Girls Secure Center, which had achieved substantial conformance. The motion was granted on September 8, 2014 on Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr.
As on November 24, 2014, litigation is ongoing regarding the rest of the facilities.Richard Jolly - 11/24/2014