In Close to Home, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a year ago, adolescents from New York City committing acts of delinquency — turnstile jumping, obstructing justice, fighting — no longer are sent upstate to institutions where families or lawyers found it difficult to visit but rather to local options such as community probation programs to residential houses, says the New York Times.
In the first eight months, with 400 youths in residential placement, there have been 40 arrests, and 73 adolescents who left homes without permission for longer than a day. Overall, 15 young people were placed in secure detention centers to await trials, says the Administration for Children's Services. There have been injuries to staff members and damage to property. There have also been successes: 90 youths completed their sentences (an average of seven months), and nearly every resident is earning credits with the city's Education Department, something that is impossible upstate. Only three teenagers were sent to higher-security institutions.