NORWICH – Ever since the Valley Ridge Center For Intensive Treatment opened in Norwich in 2002, there have been at least three vacancies on the seven-member board that is state-mandated to serve as the community’s liaison.
Valley Ridge CIT is a maximum security prison operated by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Approximately 60, 18-35 year-old, developmentally disabled males are held there. At any given time, nearly half, if not more, are Level 3 sex offenders.
OMRDD’s treatment program offers clinical services ranging from basic living skills to intensive anger therapy and relapse prevention services. Some therapies have included community outings.
The Board of Visitors, as it’s called, is responsible for consulting and advising with respect to community relations, conditions and programs at the facility and preliminary plans for construction and building alterations. The board is supposed to hold at least six bi-monthly meetings per year.
Though OMRDD operates the Valley Ridge, the state’s governor is charged with appointing community members to serve on the board. Neither former Governor George Pataki nor present Governor Eliot Spitzer have followed through on appointing individuals who have been recommended.