“Baby prisons” is a phrase coined by Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, who voiced support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to “right-size” the juvenile justice system, but also said the Senate Democrats will be offering amendments to ensure the reforms he’s seeking are “much more possible” to achieve.

“For instance, we think the right-sizing should refer not only to local detention, but it should refer…additionally to placement of young people in facilities,” said Montgomery, a Brooklyn Democrat.

“We think that we must accomplish a change in the family court placement standards so that the placement of young peolpe will no longer be done just happenstance. We would like to see there become a statewide standard so that young people don’t end up going into facilities unnecessarily.”

In addition, Montgomery said, the Senate Dems juvenile justice plan calls for creating an independent body to oversee the system, which would be supervised by the Office of Children and Family Services, and a statute that puts in place a recurring funding stream for alternative placement and detention programs.

Montgomery estimated more than $124 million could be saved through closing juvenile jails, which would enable some 500 youthful offenders to return home to their communities to receive services there.

UPDATE1: Here’s the Senate Democrats’ juvenile justice report:

UPDATE2: Sen. George Maziarz did not take kindly to Montgomery’s “baby prisons” comment, saying:

“I am often appalled at the stunning naivety of some of my downstate colleagues when it comes to juvenile justice and criminal justice matters. But reports of today’s rally in New York City take the cake.”

More of Maziarz’s commens appear after the jump.

Senate Dems Juvenile Justice Report

“Let no one forget that these so-called ‘baby prisons’ house violent criminals who have committed terrible acts against innocent victims including murder, rape, drive-by shootings, stabbings and armed robbery, just to name a few,” Maziarz continued. “Many are hardened gang members.”

“Senate Democrats and OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrion are putting public safety in serious jeopardy by ignoring the violent records of these juveniles and seeking to place them in our communities next door to unsuspecting families.”

“It’s a scam that unfortunately will continue to have tragic consequences. Just ask the family of group home worker Renee Greco in Lockport, who was murdered by two teenagers under her care. Ask the family of Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio, who was shot by a 14-year old group home runaway.”

“Horror stories like these will only increase as the juvenile justice system is dismantled. Incarceration must remain a viable option in New York State for criminals of all ages.”