Unions Say Gov. Cuomo Wrong On Juvenile Prisons

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state’s juvenile detention system was in need of overhaul and shouldn’t be used only to satisfy public employee unions.

Unions representing staff counter that many incarcerated juveniles have already failed in community programs, have psychological issues, criminal histories and can be violent. The unions say they get nutrition, medical care, psychological attention and education in the state-run detention centers.

Cuomo said the 25 youth prisons where nearly 600 juveniles are incarcerated are ineffective, expensive and kept mainly to preserve jobs.

It costs more than $200,000 a year for each juvenile, most far from their downstate homes. Nine out of 10 will later end up back in juvenile custody or prison, he said.

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