Report: State Juvenile Correctional Facilities Lack Mental Health Services

Cindy Rodriguez of WNYC:

The report by the Center for New York City Affairs says state run facilities don’t have a single psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse on staff who can prescribe medication or monitor children on psychotropic drugs. Instead, facilities rely on clinicians from nearby hospitals who make weekly short visits.

As a result, the report says untrained and overworked employees often resort to violent or aggressive tactics. John Ruiz, board member of the Public Employees Federation, the union that represents workers, says the system is in chaos and more professional staff are needed.

Recently, the Department of Justice investigated these upstate facilities and found widespread abuse. The New York State Office of Children and Family Services says it’s currently negotiating a settlement with them and can’t comment on the report.

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