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Carey wants abuse law refined

Michael Carey continues his fight to protect the rights of disabled individuals who cannot protect themselves.

The Glenmont resident's latest crusade is asking for a 1985 law on institutional abuse and neglect to reflect the current standards of both state penal law and mental hygiene law requiring the reporting of crimes of alleged abuse to appropriate law enforcement officials.

In the months following the passage of Jonathan's Law in May, which the Carey family had pushed for and which grants families of disabled individuals access to investigation records regarding their loved ones' care, Carey received records regarding his son Jonathan's care while at the Anderson School in Dutchess County.

Jonathan was taken out of the Anderson School in the fall of 2004 following abuse allegations. The family has had a lawsuit pending against the Anderson School since 2005.

Jonathan died in February after losing consciousness inside an O.D. Heck Developmental Center vehicle. Two former employees of the agency were found guilty in Jonathan's death. He was 13 at the time.

No other child should suffer such abuse, neglect and treatment as Jonathan did, said his father Michael, who, through access granted by Jonathan's Law, now has obtained various state records revealing detailed information regarding his son's stay at the Anderson School.

Records reveal that Jonathan had meals withheld and was confined to his room for several weeks as a form of behavioral treatment by school officials designed to get him to put his shirt and pants on prior to eating. One letter shows several employees from the Anderson School signing off on the behavior modification, even though Michael Carey believes that, according to state mental hygiene law, the method was a clear standard of abuse. Carey's information also shows his son suffered bruising around his legs and stomach during the weeks of "behavior modification."

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