Senate and House Democrats Respond to Chilling Report on Sununu Youth Services Center

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller, Zack Sheehan

Phone: (603) 271-3207

Email: marina.altschiller@leg.state.nh.us, zack.sheehan@leg,state.nh.us

CONCORD – Today, the AP released a new report on the Sununu Youth Services Center detailing how in 2017, then intern Mary Goddard was instructed to destroy her notes and lie about a teen boy’s sexual assault allegation.


Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua), Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton), and Representative Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord) issued the following statements in response:


“The actions taken by the State and the Sununu Youth Services Center -- under Governor Sununu's watch -- to cover up sexual assault allegations are absolutely appalling,” stated Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua). “The residents of the SYSC are children under the state’s care and it is extremely troublesome that the state has not come forward with information about these stories. These children have not only been abandoned but actively silenced at a time where they desperately need to be heard. Governor Sununu needs to come forward immediately to address the State's attempt to cover this up.”


Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) added, “The youth that end up at SYSC are our most vulnerable, have experienced the most trauma in their short lives, and need the most support. There is significant evidence showing that the majority of our youth involved with the juvenile justice system experience behavioral health disorders and co-occurring disorders. Now, we are seeing more and more evidence that their trauma has not only been exacerbated by the Sununu Youth Services Center but that it has actively been hidden in the shadows. This revelation is deeply disturbing and deserves to be addressed by Governor Sununu now, before any more harm can come to these children.”


Representative Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord) concluded, “The horrifying allegations of decades and sexual assault and the recent information regarding the SYSC’s efforts to hide that trauma is the exact reason I worked to get an amendment in the budget that would close the SYSC for good. These children need community-based programs with demonstrated effectiveness for reducing delinquency, symptoms of mental illness, and substance use, not decades of enduring mistreatment.”


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