Residential and Correctional Facilities in North Country, Finger Lakes and Central New York Will Grow and Adapt to Meet New Capacity Needs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that bidding has started for $89 million in construction projects to expand capacity at two former juvenile justice facilities, re-purpose a decommissioned correctional annex, and update a current medium security male facility to serve 16- and 17-year-olds under his landmark Raise the Age legislation. The new law changes the way 16- and 17-year-olds are processed in the criminal and youth justice systems and changes the placement they may receive. The law becomes effective for 16-year-olds on October 1, 2018, and for 17-year-olds one year later.
"After passing groundbreaking legislation this year to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old, it is crucial that we now invest in facilities that will offer rehabilitative services that these teens need," Governor Cuomo said. "This is a major step toward breaking the cycle of recidivism, increasing public safety and creating a stronger and more secure New York for all."
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services, which operates the state's juvenile justice facilities, and the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which will now operate adolescent offender facilities, will require more beds to accommodate the additional youth placed in their custody. In order to do so, the agencies will re-purpose four locations throughout the State.
The Office of General Services will solicit bids for an estimated $41 million in construction projects at two former juvenile justice facilities owned by the Office of Children and Family Services. As part of these projects, an estimated $29 million in construction projects at the Industry Residential Center in the Town of Rush, Monroe County, will expand the facility to serve up to 80 additional youth, bringing its total capacity to 130. Another $12 million in construction projects at the Harriett Tubman Residential Center in the Town of Sennett, Cayuga County, will that facility into a limited secure residential center that will house 25 youth.
Work at both facilities is expected to start in the fall of 2017 and the modifications and improvements will create approximately 630 construction jobs. When construction is complete, the facilities are expected to add 250 staff positions: 165 at Industry and 85 at Harriett Tubman.
Acting Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "These expanded facilities will provide education, employment and vocational training, recreation, counseling, medical and mental health services all in one place. Youth will be treated under the New York therapeutic model of care, designed to set them on a path to success in the community upon their release."
Under the Governor's landmark Raise the Age law, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is required to establish adolescent offender facilities to house those sentenced under the age of 18 years to a year or more confinement. To accomplish this, the Office of General Services will solicit bids later this fall for approximately $48 million in construction projects to update the Groveland Annex in the town of Sonyea, Livingston County and the Adirondack Correctional Facility in Ray Brook, Essex County. These two facilities were selected based on location and the cost and time it will take to update and open them when measured against comparable sites in the same regions.
Acting Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci said, "Securing these facilities to achieve the Governor's vision to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility in New York State is a vital step in the process. It is both fiscally responsible and logistically beneficial to transform and modernize these existing buildings to complete the process. Once implemented, DOCCS will have the proper environment necessary to help rehabilitate young offenders."
Later this year, the Office of General Services will solicit construction bids for the projects including, approximately $25 million in updates will be made to the Groveland Annex and when completed in the fall of 2019, it is anticipated the facility will house 110 individuals and that 179 staff positions will be added. At the Adirondack Correctional Facility, another $23 million in updates will help the facility transition to hold adolescent offenders in the fall of 2018. It will have a capacity of 142 beds to house the teens and 11 additional staff positions will be added to the conversion. Together, both projects are expected to create approximately 650 construction jobs.
The Department will also utilize the Hudson Correctional Facility in Columbia County which was designated a youth facility by the Governor's Executive Order 150 in 2015. It will be transitioned to an adolescent offender facility when RTA is effective in October 2018.