A teenager goes missing nearly once every day from the Hawthorne Cedar Knolls rehabilitation center in Mount Pleasant, according to a New York Times report published this week that said many of the teens may be getting involved in sex trafficking rings and fall into familiar trappings after they leave.
Last year, the state stopped sending children to Hawthorne Cedar Knolls RTC and Pleasantville Cottage School following several reported assaults and runaways.
“People who have worked in child welfare in and around New York City say there is a pipeline from centers like the ones here back to the streets, where children fall prey to the abuse that they were supposed to escape,” the Times report states.
Recently, a teenage girl that went missing from Hawthorne Cedar Knolls was found in the Bronx with a 25-year-old man who has been charged with sex trafficking, rape and other offenses.
Teenagers at the residential treatment centers have been sent to the locations by a judge to help them escape the dangers of the streets, the report says, but many run back to their old lives until they get completely comfortable in their new surroundings.
Westchester Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh/Mount Pleasant) said he “has long been concerned about the facilities care for its residents on its campus.”
“I am alarmed that Hawthorne Cedar Knolls’ efforts are failing to keep their residents from returning to the very dangers where they were victimized and from which they were supposed to be protected. We need an immediate meeting of all of the oversight agencies to take corrective action.”
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