Group Homes Plagued By Patterns Of Abuse & Lack Of Employee Accountability

The New York Times ran a troubling article “At State-Run Homes, Abuse and Impunity” recently chronicling the abusive care– and lack of accountability– encountered by residents in the more than 2,000 group homes scattered throughout New York.

Patterns Of Abuse & Lack Of Employee AccountabilityOf the more than 13,000 cases of alleged abuse reported in 2009, less than 5% of the cases were transferred to law enforcement for follow-up.  Just a handful of the cases reported to law enforcement resulted in criminal prosecutions or employee discipline.

Rather, a strong group home employee union consistently opposed any abuse charges brought against employees– even when the evidence presented against them was substantial.  The prosecution of the group home abuse cases were further impaired by the fact that many of the victims suffered from conditions such as Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism– making testimony against alleged abused consistently inconsistent — or impossible.

The resulting situation begs for more state oversight and control of these particularly vulnerable living arrangements.  Particularly when a specific facts relating to abusive acts carried out against disabled people living in group home are uncovered by newspaper reporters, it is particularly troubling that the regulatory agencies failed to take any disciplinary action against the perpetrator or move to protect the victim.

Certainly, I don’t have all the answers, but it seems like a system needs to be effectively implemented that both utilizes better oversight of all group homes and importantly holds employees who witness abuse– yet fail to report it equally accountable for fostering an environment where abuse thrives.

Lastly, as a lawyer who has prosecuted matters involving group home abuse, I encourage families to immediately report abusive conditions to law enforcement as soon as the situation comes to bear.  Further, if there is any physical evidence of abuse, I encourage families to document the same with their own photos and videos.

Learn more about the laws applicable to New York nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in New York , Buffalo and Rochester

Related Nursing Home Law Center LLC Blog Entries:

Are Group Homes A Viable Alternative To Nursing Homes?

Thankfully, We Now Have Many Laws To Protect The Elderly From Abuse In A Variety Of Settings. However, Laws Are Worthless, If The People For Whom They Are Intended To Help Are Unaware Of Them

Is This An Attempt To ‘Control’ A Patient? Or Is This Simply Another Attempt To Cover Up Abuse In A Group Home?

Abusive Events In Adult Homes Go Unreported & Unprosecuted

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