HAWTHORNE, NY – Earlier today the New York Times released a startling articledetailing the current state of affairs on the campus of Hawthorne Cedar Knolls residential facility.
New York State Senator Terrence Murphy, who represents the Hawthorne community, has been an outspoken critic of the facility and its care for the youth on its campus:
“Sex trafficking, particularly involving innocent children is despicable. In effect because it is classified as a residential treatment center, Hawthorne Cedar Knolls has an open door policy that has allowed young girls to runaway, and worse, fall prey to the very dangers of society that had previously victimized them.
This report is just the latest of a series of highly alarming issues on the campus of Hawthorne Cedar Knolls. Working with the Commissioner of the Office of Children & Family Services Sheila Poole, and her team, as well as the Hawthorne Cedar Knolls School District Superintendent Mark Silverstein, Carl Fulgenzi Supervisor of Mt. Pleasant and Paul Oliva Chief of Police, the State has led a vigorous and historic inter-agency review of programs and protocols on this campus.
Despite our best efforts, it is clear that no fence is big enough to prevent young girls from subverting security, running away and falling into potentially dangerous situations without the strong partnership of the managing agency. It is abundantly clear that The Jewish Board of Family and Children Services has failed in its efforts to provide the type of care and counseling these children desperately need.
Once again, intake must be suspended immediately but that is not enough. Albany must pass legislation that I have authored, along with Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, to allow a new managing agency to take control of this situation. The Jewish Board has failed these children, failed their families and failed our community.”