Legislators Fight to Save the New Castle Youth Development Center

Today Senators Elder Vogel (R-47) and Bob Robbins (R-50) and Representatives Jaret Gibbons (D-10) and Chris Sainato (D-9) called on Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Secretary Gary Alexander and Governor Tom Corbett to stop the planned closure of the New Castle Youth Development Center (NCYDC) on February 15th of this year.

“The NCYDC provides a critical treatment service to at-risk youths in the Commonwealth. The employees there offer first-rate support to those in need. Unfortunately, over the last five years the state hasn’t reciprocated that support,” Vogel said. “Instead of closing the facility, we should work with the employees at NCYDC to meet the needs of the juvenile justice programs in Pennsylvania.”

“The NCYDC has been recognized as an outstanding institution within the state’s juvenile justice system. I am disappointed that the department has now chosen to close this facility,” Robbins said. “If this is the direction that the department is insisting upon, it is important that those who have dedicated their lives working at the NCYDC are assisted by the Commonwealth in locating new employment opportunities.”

“I am disappointed the department is choosing to close the NCYDC rather than revamp the facility to meet the needs of the state’s juvenile justice system and support the local economy,” Gibbons said. “The employees deal with difficult situations and have been living with the threat of losing their jobs for years. Regardless of what happens, our priority must be to make sure the state provides assistance to ensure their continued employment.”

“The employees at the NCYDC have met every challenge the state has thrown at them,” Sainato said. “But for DPW to come in and say we are closing you down next month is outrageous. We have been told several times by DPW that there were no plans to close this facility. How did they arrive at this decision and where is the transparency? We have a lot of questions that need to be answered.”

The NCYDC provides treatment and rehabilitation to those found to be delinquent by a juvenile court. Currently the facility employs 223 workers and is one of the largest employers in Lawrence County. The New Castle Youth Development Center has been recognized as an outstanding institution, acknowledged by the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) Performance-based Standards (PbS) BAH Award for giving the juvenile courts a viable option in providing rehabilitative services for adjudicated delinquents.

CONTACT: Joe Weidner
(724) 774-0444

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