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NY-OCFS Spent 7.2 million on Tryon’s Residential Center and has an additional 18.4 million budgeted for 155 Employees and 6 inmates

June 10, 2010

NY-OCFS’ Spending lacks common sense

The absurdity of New York state government spending never ceases to amaze us. The money the state proposes to pour into the Tryon Residential Center in Perth is one of the latest examples.

The state Office of Children & Family Services says it plans to close the boys side of Tryon early next year, eliminating more than 150 jobs.

Despite plans for the substantial downsizing, the state is proposing to spend millions of dollars on projects at the Tryon site over the next three years. The spending would include

  • $8.7 million for a storm drainage project,
  • $6.2 million for installation of cameras,
  • $500,000 for shower renovations,
  • $2 million for bathroom renovations in the girls’ cottages, and
  • $1 million for roof work involving nine buildings.
  • In addition, the state has spent more than $7.2 million in projects at Tryon over the last three years.

Total $18.4 million in new projects and 7.2 million in old projects for a facility that is scheduled to close.  No wonder it costs $240,000 on average for OCFS to house one youth/year.

Spending tens of millions for upgrades is  ludicrous given that the state is trying to phase out the program. A little common sense could prevent a major waste of taxpayers’ money.

Leader Herald Story:

You can’t make this stuff up. New York State has a juvenile detention facility called Tryon Residential Center, with just six inmates — and 155 employees.

… Tryon will remain completely staffed because the state is tied in a knot: two governors ago, the state promised public-employee unions that it would give one year’s notice before shutting down juvenile detention centers or adult prisons. So as of Tuesday, with six young people living there, here are some of the jobs still budgeted at Tryon: 11 cooks, 1 food manager, 6 keyboard specialists, 5 nurses, 1 motor mechanic, 7 teachers, 1 teaching assistant, 4 vocational instructors, 3 recreation specialists, 81 youth division aides and 2 calculations clerks.

Story from NYT Jim Dwyer: 155 Workers, 6 Young Men, 1 Fiscal Mess.  NYT Story

Comment: Jim Dwyer states that OCFS Commissioner Carrion has “solid grounds for saying that such places are beyond reform.”  This is not fair to the workers.  OCFS has made it impossible for workers to do their jobs for fear that if they break up a fight or in this case a sexual orgy — they’ll be brought up on child abuse charges for physically intervening.  OCFS only allows staff to physically intervene in 3 instances – and a sexual orgy is not one of them.

Story: Sex Orgy at Tryon: Hooker & Teen at Juvie Jail “orgy”

Even More Ridiculous – Assaults on Staff at OCFS facilities are up 42% with a 25:1 staffing ratio

According to the Queens Democrat’s report, rates of OCFS workplace injuries have spiked to some of the highest of any state agency over the past two years, with workers compensation indemnity claims caused by assault or violent acts rising by 42 percent between 2007 and 2009.

Many of the instances of violence occur when staffers are breaking up fights. Rosen says that currently there is not enough staff on hand to deal with the problematic youths.

Comment, maybe OCFS should move some of the Tryon Staff to the other facilities if there’s a staff shortage.  There certainly should not be a shortage of staff at Tryon.

With a 42% assault rate — wonder if the staff shortages are a result of worker compensation claims.  Wonder how much the State’s Sanctuary Polities are affecting staff injury rates and taxpayer worker compensation claims.


One Comment
  1. Dumb permalink

    1st: The “sex Orgy” parties were done at Goshen Secure Facility and Brookwood Secure Facility, they were never held at TRYON.

    2nd: Yes makes no common sense to spend all that money on a facility to close it. There are two(2) facilities at this location all separated by fence and razor wire. One is Tryon Boys Limited Secure Facility the other is Tryon Girls Secure and Residential Facility.

    3rd: Most of those employees you list support both facilities, even if the boys side facility closes those employees remain because they also work for the girls side. Most of the actual direct care staff who worked the Boys Facility have been reassigned to the Girls Facility. You might want to investigate how many administrators and psychologist are just sitting around doing nothing(nothing is what they would be doing with 300 residents so there is no major change).

    4th: The state needs to get rid of Commissioner Gladys Carrion not carrion get rid of her staff. She has failed the youth and her employees. Her inability to properly mange her facilities and be a true leader has destroyed the agency. She created policy and procedures that have made the environment in all of her NYS juvenile facilities extremely violent and dangerous for everyone. She has allowing them to continue to spiral farther out of control by ignoring all her employees complaints and years of experience to meet her personal agenda to close all upstate facilities and move the jobs to NYC. She controls the resident count at all facilities, she is responsible for the low bed count to us as another reason to close the facility, when I started working there we had 380 residents.

    5th: Please blog/post facts not BS that Carrion has approved to be released to the press to further damage Tryon so she can meet her agenda of closing all upstate. The truth is not heard or reported in the press because OCFS employees are not allowed to talk to the media, if they do face losing their job.

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