What the Post-Standard did tell you yesterday was that–
Cuomo in Syracuse on Wednesday to explain his proposal to improve care for New Yorkers with special needs
Syracuse — Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be in Syracuse Wednesday to promote his plan to create a new agency to address abuses among people with special needs in state care.
Cuomo, a Democrat in his second year, has proposed creating the “Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.” The center would have authority to track, investigate and prosecute abuse cases within the six state agencies that currently oversee care for disabled and developmentally disabled people.
Last year, there were more than 10,000 allegations of abuse against New Yorkers with special needs and disabilities in state operated, certified or licensed facilities and programs. Currently, the state’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities is trying to fire 200 workers for allegations of abuse.
Cuomo’s actions come after a series of stories in The New York Times that described lax care of clients and investigations of abuse within the state’s multi-layered care system for people with special needs.
Cuomo will explain his proposed changes at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Schine Student Center at Syracuse University.
What the Post-Standard did not tell you is that Cuomo’s explanation is by invitation only, so don’t get all excited and think you actually can go and ask the Governor a question. Why report the time and location and then not state that it’s a closed event?
The question I’d like to ask is whether CPEP will come under the jurisdiction of the new agency. CPEP is the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program that is run by St. Joseph’s Hospital under the auspices of the NYS Office of Mental Health. It is an horrific place in which abuses occur at least on a weekly basis, if not daily. When you lock the door to a facility, you guarantee abuse. The Office of Mental Health (OMH) has consistently failed to properly monitor CPEP.
On one occasion I got CPEP investigated and, in the process, learned that OMH knew there was a problem but wasn’t doing any follow-up. CPEP “serves” about 8,000 people a year, and the Post-Standard has never been willing to investigate and report on this awesomely bad facility.
Does anybody think that the Post-Standard, which most certainly has been invited to Governor Cuomo’s presentation, is going to ask if CPEP will be covered by the new agency?
Yeah, right. CPEP only affects 8,000 citizens who are marginalized, i.e., not the Post-Standard’s demographic, so why bother?