The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs
Chapter 501 of the Laws of 2012: “Protection of People with Special Needs Act” is effective on June 30, 2013 and makes changes to the requirements for the standards for the protection of day and residential students who attend a residential school (i.e., the New York State School for the Blind, the New York State School for the Deaf, a State-supported school which has a residential component, a special act school district, or an approved private residential school). Chapter 501 also established the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, which will assume the functions and responsibilities of the former Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. The Justice Center will be responsible for investigations of allegations of serious abuse and neglect of vulnerable persons in State-operated and licensed facilities, including residential schools under the State Education Department's (SED) oversight; overseeing implementation of the procedures of State oversight agencies for tracking, investigating and monitoring corrective actions of allegations of abuse, neglect and significant incidents; maintaining a register of individuals who have committed serious acts of abuse (Staff Exclusion List); and establishing codes of conduct of ethical standards to which all individuals who have regular contact with people with special needs would be held accountable. Additional information regarding Chapter 501, the Justice Center and a full text of the law are available on the Justice Center webpage. Please see the Justice Center Resources for additional information.