Juvenile Rights Lawyers Fight for Medical Rights of Detained Youngsters
MONDAY, MAY 01, 2006

Lawyers in the Juvenile Rights Practice testified before the City Council and were quoted in The New York Times about poor medical care provided by a New Jersey company that was under contract to provide medical care to some 400 troubled youths in New York City's juvenile justice system. In May, 2006, the City of New York decided not to renew the contract with the New Jersey firm and, instead, to have the Health and Hospital corporation take over the contract.

The Juvenile Rights Practice had charged in testimony before the City Council that children in custody were not given adequate ongoing or emergency health and mental treatment. Despite clear city rules requiring the continuity of medical care for children, the Division of Juvenile Justice had a practice of discontinuing medication and treatment abruptly when children entered DJJ's custody. The children had to wait to have their medical or mental health provider reevaluate them before allowing any medication or treatment, short of emergency off-site hospitalization. Many of the clients had gone for days without badly needed medication and care.