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Follow Up: Employees say there are more problems at youth criminal facilities

May 03, 2017 06:29 PM

After our investigative piece on working conditions in a Columbia County secure facility for youth criminals last week, we received a flood of feedback from other Office of Children and Family Services employees and former employees. 

Youth Division Aids told us about cracked ribs, hernias, and dislocated shoulders they got while trying to restrain kids. They told us about mandatory overtime they're forced to work.  

The Office of Children and Family Services says mandatory overtime is not excessive.

We received multiple calls about trips youth criminals were taken on in plain clothes. Apple picking and ice cream out in the community on your taxpayer dime.  

An OCFS press representative says the agency does do field trips for the criminal youth. He says its part of the New York model of care meant to reintegrate kids into society.

Some of the employees were too afraid to go on camera, but after Jarred Sansky was fired, he was happy to share his thoughts.

"People live in a state of fear there because they don't want to set upset upper management and lose their positions," said Sansky.

Sansky worked at the Sergeant Henry Johnson Youth Leadership Academy in Delaware County. Sansky says he noticed an unsupervised juvenile delinquent sleeping while he should have been in the dining hall for a meal. He says management told him to write up a memo and not to call the state's Justice Center, but Sansky did call the agency because it was protocol.

"It's just disappointing to see that when I do the right thing I am punished for it," said Sansky.

Sansky was hired there in 2014. He was quickly promoted after being highly recommended by his supervisor.

But suddenly, Sansky's reviews tanked. Sansky was demoted, and then fired this March. Now he's asking CSEA to help with a wrongful termination case.

OCFS wouldn't comment specifically about Sansky's case, but said in a statement staff are indeed required to report suspected cases of child neglect to the Justice Center.

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Asa Stackel

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