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CSEA ‘Pushes For Changes’ At the Office Of Children And Family Services’ Secure Youth Facility In Claverback Following A September Riot

Published Wednesday, October 27, 2021
by Therese Assalian/CSEA News
CSEA ‘Pushes For Changes’ At the Office Of Children And Family Services’ Secure Youth Facility In Claverback Following A September Riot

CSEA News Editor’s Note: Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Brookwood Secure Center Local Member Roscoe Adams (center) and Local President Todd Gardner (on the right) give a television news interview to WNYT-TV Anchor Subrina Dhammi on the current status of Brookwood Secure Youth Center following a September riot at the center, during which several CSEA Members were injured.  (CSEA Provided Photo)


(CLAVERACK, NEW YORK) – The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) is pushing for needed safety changes at Brookwood Secure Center.

In mid-September, a riot broke out at the state Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Secure Youth Facility, notorious for its violent culture and frequent assaults on Staff.

Eight residents instigated a spree of violence that included pulling wood off bulletin boards to wield it as weapons, smashing security cameras, throwing furniture and beating, kicking and punching Staff.

Facility Staff called 911 to get the facility under control.

First Responders, including five local Police Departments and New York State Police, rushed to the scene.

For several hours, social media buzzed with speculation, while Employees’ families feared the worst.

Three Staff Members were transported to the hospital for treatment of cuts, bruises, sprains and a broken cheek bone resulting from kicks, punches and blows wrought by residents spilling out from two different units.

Following the incident, CSEA called for the immediate transfer of the most violent offenders to other facilities.

A CSEA news release garnered local media attention, including two nights of coverage on the area’s NBC news affiliate.

In late September, CSEA Brookwood Secure Local President Todd Gardner, along with CSEA Member and Youth Division Aide (YDA) 4 Roscoe Adams, did an on-camera interview from outside the facility.

During that interview, they announced that a transfer of 16 of the most assaultive residents had taken place the day following the Union’s news release.

Speaking to reporters, Gardner discussed the toll the assaults have taken on staff working in such an extreme environment.

“At the end of the day, we just want to get home to our families,” he said.

CSEA’s Occupational Safety and Health Department quickly notified OCFS of the intent to conduct a full safety review.

A statewide review was launched to learn actions management is taking to address conditions at the facility and understand factors contributing to the incident.

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