Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a major reform package aimed at ending the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities in state care.
The governor was joined by legislative leaders, district attorneys, and people with disabilities at the state Capitol on Monday.
The legislation would create a new agency called the ‘Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs’ to oversee care of the disabled.
The reforms come after a series of articles in The New York Times detailed how disabled people were abused, neglected, and even died in state care.
The governor calls it a civil rights issue.
“They deserve human dignity. They deserve to be treated fairly,” Cuomo said.
The legislation would also create a special prosecutor who would have jurisdiction alongside local district attorneys to investigate allegations of abuse.
Marie Cusick is a reporter for the Innovation Trail and WMHT. You can find more of Marie Cusick's work at the Innovation Trail website. The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between five upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), will help the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of upstate New York's economy.