Profile of a Troubled Youth

The New York Times ran a profile February 14, of a child who had been placed in one of the facilities that is the subject of a federal civil rights class action lawsuit filed by The Legal Aid Society with the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, serving as co-counsel.

The lawsuit, filed December 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges that children confined in the State Office of Children and Family Services residential centers are subjected to unconstitutional and excessive force by members of the staff and are deprived of legally-required mental health services. The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief on the grounds that these children have been denied their constitutional rights under the 14th amendment and other provisions of law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In the article, Steven Banks, Attorney-in-Chief, is quoted as sayng, "It's hard to say, among all the truly horrific facilities, which is the worst one."

A federal Department of Justice report released in August described in detail the abuses in detention facilities for children and the lack of mental health treatment. The findings were confirmed by a special Task-Force appointed by the Governor.

Read The New York Times article.