Youth Study Center neighbors meet tonight

Nervous neighbors of the Youth Study Center's temporary home in East Falls will meet with Nutter administration officials tonight at the old Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Members of the Multi-Community Alliance, a coalition of civic groups from North Philadelphia to Germantown, have raised concerns about the facility in the wake of two separate incidents in which three teen-agers escaped custody at the Youth Study Center, which houses juveniles before trial. In an incident Friday, a teen-ager ran into the nearby Abbotsford Homes complex, City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said.

Jones said he wants to know what happened with recent events, what the administration is doing to make sure it doesn't happen again, and what kind of notification plan or alert system will be put in place for neighbors.

"I am deeply concerned about the fact that escapes can go multiple days without property notice to stakeholders," Jones aid.

More than 100 juveniles from the former Youth Study Center on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway were moved to the former Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute on Henry Avenue Oct. 4 to make room for construction of a museum to house the Barnes Foundation collection. A new Youth Study Center is to be built in West Philadelphia within three years, though administration have raised the possibility that a frozen bond market could make financing for the new center difficult to obtain and threaten that timetable.

The meeting will be 6 p.m., at the MCP auditorium, 3300 Henry Ave. It's right next door to to the Youth Study Center's new home. Everett Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety, DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose, and the director of the Youth Study Center are expected, Jones said. 

The city moved the Youth Study Center from Click here for's politics page.