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Man who works with teenage inmates fights to keep Horizon Juvenile Center open

WOODSTOCK, the Bronx — After clashes between teenagers and correction officers inside the Horizon Juvenile Center this week, PIX11 spoke with Antonio Hendrickson—an anti-violence advocate inside city jails.

Hendrickson was called into the facility Wednesday after a gang fight.

He wants New Yorkers to know the nearly 100 teens inside Horizon, “are not the animals they are being portrayed to be.”

“I was talking to them about being calm, being cool,” Henrickson said.

When New York State passed criminal justice reform last year, the city then had to move all 16 and 17 year olds from Rikers by Oct. 1. Questions lingered about whether Horizon would be ready for the teens.

During a City Council hearing on September 20th, Dana Kaplan from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice explained, “with the timeline that we have we are trying to move mountains.”

Hendrickson says despite the fights this week Horizon is a better option for the teenagers, “better conditions, the environment is better, the rooms are better, it’s not hot, it’s not smelly, it small it’s not congested.”