Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said today that the Senate has
scheduled a public hearing next week to investigate the circumstances
surrounding the tragic death of 13-year-old Jonathan Carey.
The shock and outrage over the tragic and senseless death of
Jonathan Carey must be channeled into an effort to make sure this doesn't
happen to another person and another family, Senator Bruno said.
"The Senate will hold a hearing next week to find out how and why the system may have failed Jonathan, and what steps we can take to change our laws to
protect people like Jonathan who depend on the care of others. We are
going to get the bottom of this tragic situation and do everything we can
to enact new laws to protect people who cannot protect themselves. We
cannot and will not allow this to happen to another family."
The Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities,
Chaired by Senator Tom Morahan (R-C, New City) has scheduled a public
hearing on Monday, March 5, at 10 a.m. in Hearing Room A of the
Legislative Office Building in Albany.
"We want to determine and assess the adequacy of the staff training
provided by OMRDD for personnel who care for children with developmental
disabilities, as well as how children who exhibit behavioral episodes are
treated," said Senator Morahan.
"Parents and guardians must be reassured that agency staff are properly supervised and monitored, and that children placed in the care of a state-approved facility are safe and being treated properly."
The public hearing will examine a broad range of issues related to
the care of individuals with mental disabilities including the use of
restraints, training in the use of such restraints, and the availability of
confidential medical and investigative records to parents and guardians.
Jonathan Carey, an autistic teen who lived at the state-run O.D. Heck
Development Center in Niskayuna, died last Thursday while being taken out
in a van by two center staff members who police say used an improper
restraint on him.
Questions have also been raised over possible mistreatment of Jonathan at a private school for autistic children. His parents were denied access to school records about their son.""