“For too long, too many of our City's young people have been shunted off upstate – hundreds of miles from family, school and community and far from the support they need to get back on course. Today's budget agreement includes a landmark overhaul of our juvenile justice system, paving the way for young people in the system to receive services close to their families and more easily transition back into their communities and productive lives.
“We have been championing this kind of change together since our visit to the Finger Lakes Residential Center in December 2010, where the injustice and inadequacy of the status quo was on full display. We are grateful to Governor Cuomo for making the ‘Close to Home’ initiative a top priority for his administration. Building on the City's legacy of juvenile justice reform – reducing the use of detention and placement, increasing community-based alternatives and lowering recidivism rates, all the while making our City even safer – ‘Close to Home’ will address the needs of our young people and improve public safety.”
“In addition to the Governor, we thank Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for making this a reality; Assemblymembers Amy Paulin, Karim Camara and Joseph Lentol, who first introduced legislation and led the way in Albany on this critical issue; and Senators Diane Savino, Martin Golden, Andrew Lanza and Steve Saland, who provided thoughtful leadership during budget deliberations. We also thank Speaker Christine Quinn and the City Council for their support of the initiative.”