Politics As It Happens: Governor’s Office Issues Press Release for Massive Legislation Overhauling New York State’s Systems for Curbing and Preventing Abuse

Governor's Seal“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled new legislation to establish the strongest standards and practices in the nation for protecting people with special needs and disabilities. Governor Cuomo’s legislation will create a new Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, an initiative that will transform how the state protects over one million New Yorkers in State operated, certified or licensed facilities and programs.

The Justice Center will have a Special Prosecutor and Inspector General for the Protection of People with Special Needs who will investigate reports of abuse and neglect and prosecute allegations that rise to the level of criminal offenses. It will also include a 24/7 hotline run by trained professionals, a comprehensive statewide database that will track all reports of abuse and neglect and a statewide register of workers who have committed serious acts of abuse who will be prohibited from ever working with people with disabilities or special needs.

‘This is about safeguarding the civil rights of the more than one million New Yorkers with disabilities and special needs who for too long have not had the protections and justice they deserve,’ Governor Cuomo said. ‘The creation of a Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs will give New York State the strongest standards and practices in the country for protecting those who are often the most vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment. I urge the Legislature to speedily pass this bill and give people with special needs and disabilities a new level of protection and service in our state.'”

Read the full press release:
http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/05072012-First-to-protect-special-needs