TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – New Jersey has a new law in effect meant to better protect those with developmental disabilities. A registry has been set up that will help screen caregivers more carefully.
Criminal background checks are the norm for those caring for the disabled, but Gerald Suozzo (right), who heads up the Office of Program Integrity at the state’s Department of Human Services, says that often doesn’t go far enough:
“There are sometime incidents that do not rise to that level that they are prosecuted and convicted. So we have civil investigations that are conducted.”
And the worst of those will now be placed on a central registry of offenders that agencies can access online.
There is no one on the list right now, and not every case of abuse will wind up on the list. Besides, the general public won’t have access to it.
Suozzo says a few other states also offer this extra level of protection, for those suffering with a variety of ailments from autism to spina bifida.
Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060.