Industry professional describes Greco's murderers as "warehoused"
An Industry School professional has described Renee Greco's murderers as "warehoused".
Greco, a 24 year old Buffalo native, was beaten to death while she sat at a table playing cards in a Lockport, NY group home for troubled youth where she was employed as a youth counselor. Group residents Anthony Allen and Robert Thousand have been charged with Monday's murder of Ms. Greco.
Anthony Allen was recently released from the state school at Industry. That's where he met alleged accomplice, Robert Thousand, who’d been in the sex offender program. He was being treated in the mental health ward.
A professional at Industry who had worked with both teens, said, “They were just warehoused here and released when their time was up…the kids don't have to make progress and they know it."
The New York Office of Children and Family Services would not comment about either suspect. They cited privacy concerns.
Yet counselors at Industry questioned whether either had met the proper goals to be released from the secured facility into a step down program…especially a program not geared toward potentially violent offenders.
"These are dangerous kids that need to stay in secure programs and not be put into group homes because it's cheaper," said the man familiar with both teens.
The Office of Children and Family Services denied there has been any change in policy for state run facilities, but confirmed that halfway houses save counties and taxpayers considerable money--about $15,000 per bed, per year--versus $200,000 at Industry.
Some argue that the trade off comes at the expense of safety and security.
Recently Renee Greco told friends she was so concerned about working alone at night that she was on the verge of quitting.
One employee at Industry backed out of an interview with 13 WHAM News saying the state threatened disciplinary action for anyone who spoke out.
A state spokesman said some employees are disgruntled because facilities are being downsized or closed.
Olean state senator Catharine Young is still calling for an investigation and will seek the removal or forced resignation of New York State OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrion if there are indications that Allen and Thousand should not have been placed in a group setting.
On Monday, State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R-Clarence) and State Senator George Maziarz (R-Newfane) have a meeting scheduled with OCFS Deputy Commissioner Bill Getman in Albany to review OCFS/New Directions staffing and youth placement requirements. "Their questions for the deputy commissioner are virtually identical."
Child Protective Services is also in Lockport conducting its own investigation.
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