Teens transferred from Rikers Island to Horizon Juvenile Center are met with worst conditions. Fights erupted injuring 40 correction officers.
The news was released that 40 prison officers were injured at the Horizon Juvenile Center in the South Bronx. This indicates an obvious need for a better solution to mend the state of the facility.
Fights broke at the facility. The state allowed correctional officers to use pepper spray to combat the violence. This lasted almost seven days.
Why Are Juvenile Offenders Experiencing Such Poor Conditions?
Recently, a number of teens were transferred from Rikers Island to the Horizon Juvenile Center. This was after Governor Andrew Cuomo implemented the ‘Raise the Age’ policy.
Potential Solutions for Horizon Juvenile Center
Bronx City Council members met at City Hall to talk about solutions. The Correction Officers Benevolent Association and the administration in charge of Children Services suggested a few new measures:
- Movement limited in the hallways
- Secure classroom furniture to the ground
- Make family visitation easier
A representative from ASC said they were in a transitional period to having a remarkable reform. One that has never been in place. It was also noted additional safety measures have been implemented. The violent incidences have decreased.
Officials’ Response to The Facility’s Violence
Elias Husamudeen is the union president. Husamudeen says there are over 125 youths at the Horizon Juvenile Center, aged 13-17 years. He blames the violence that erupted on a lack of social services, like mental health aid and job skills training.
Michael Blake, the Bronx assemblyman, stated the new safety measures by COBA and ASC were not sufficient. There is a dire need for a long-term solution.
Blake said these entities need to tour the Horizon facility. This will help ensure community elected officials and leaders are informed about the true state of the facility. Also, the protocol used by the correctional officers.
He further added there is a need for a change in the culture from what was at Rikers Island. They need to focus on the rehabilitation and mentorship of the teens.
How Are The Parents Reacting to These Conditions
Parents also questioned the conditions for their children at Horizon Juvenile Center. One parent told the media it was better to leave her son at Rikers Island. Transferring him to Horizon was a negative turn. There is such a difference in the access to services.
She mentioned nobody wants their children to be confined to a prison. But if it happens, they should be treated as humans.
Other parents shared similar concerns. Their kids were not getting basic needs:
- Clean uniforms
It is a sad day if conditions are better for their kids at a place like Rikers Island.