New York State’s Tryon Detention Center is like a poster-child for government waste, says Fox 5 television in New York City. It is a juvenile detention center without any juveniles. The sprawling campus north of Albany is empty except for 25 to 30 staffers. Each employee collects almost $90,000 a year with benefits.
The state tried to shut Tryon down, moving detainees to other facilities. A New York law requiring union members at juvenile detention centers and prisons to get a year’s notice kept it open. Now the empty detention center costs taxpayers $3 million year. There are only 661 juveniles in the state system, and 2,134 state employees watch over them. The cost is huge: $228,000 a year to keep a kid in a secure facility and $298,000 in a non-secure facility. Vincent Schiraldi, the New York City probation commissioner, said that the half-empty and empty facilities throughout New York are bleeding taxpayers dry. New York City has sued the state, saying it is overcharging the city and counties for services that it is not really providing by charging localities for empty facilities.