Council 94 Responds to Use of Training School Youth Assessment Center as New Forensic Unit

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Council 94 Responds to Use of Training School Youth Assessment Center as New Forensic Unit

North Providence – Today, Rhode Island Council 94, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO issued the following statement addressing the Governor’s decision that the Youth Assessment Center (YAC), which was vacated after two riots and multiple equipment failures, be used as a Forensic unit.      
 
J. Michael Downey, president of Council 94, stated, “Council 94 still has concerns about the administrations’ plans to keep all Training School populations consolidated in one building.  The new Training School was built as two separate facilities to prevent the co-mingling of pre-adjudicated and adjuvated youth criminal offenders.  Council 94 maintains that the populations at the Training School are artificially low due to the emphasis on the early release/return of offenders to their communities.  What happens if the model changes?  How will a population surge be handled? “
 
President Downey, continued, “At the same time Council 94 has long advocated for the construction of a new Forensic Unit/Hospital Building.  The Forensic Unit, in the Pinel building, houses clients that have been determined to be Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.  The conditions of the current Forensic Unit are deplorable.  A new facility is long past due.  However, both unsafe working conditions at the Training School and the disrepair of the Forensic Unit boil down to failures of management.  Council 94 certainly hopes that the state’s attempts to correct a problem for forensic patients, does not leave youth offenders, another critical population, on the short end of limited state resources.”
     
Council 94 represents over 10,000 active and retired state, municipal, and private sector employees.

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