NEW YORK (1010 WINS / WCBS 880) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system Tuesday, stressing it was not helping kids and was costing taxpayers millions.

After touring a juvenile justice facility in upstate Ithaca with Rev. Al Sharpton, Bloomberg said he is convinced it was better to keep offenders closer to home.

READ MORE: Police Investigating Suspected Homicide In Central Park

“Today, 81 percent of the boys who go to a state facility are arrested again within three years of their release,” Bloomberg said.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The mayor also said it was costing the city $62 million to house 569 offenders far from their homes and said the system was simply not working.

READ MORE: FDA Authorizes Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shots For Seniors, Others At High Risk

“The current system is not helping our kids. It isn’t helping tax payers and it isn’t helping public safety,” Bloomberg said.

One 17-year-old told 1010 WINS’ Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks that staying in the city worked for him.

“It helped me a lot because if I would have went upstate or something, I would’ve never finished school,” he said, “it would’ve never changed nothing.”

The teen will graduate next month and is hoping to attend college or join the Air Force.

MORE NEWS: Judge Lifts Temporary Pause On Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers And Other City Workers, Who Now Must Be Vaccinated By Monday

“The bottom line is I think we all agree we need to stop sending kids miles away from their families and communities and instead authorize the city to fully operate its own juvenile system here in the five boroughs,” Bloomberg said.