senate Bill S7232A

Signed by Governor

Relates to investigations to ensure the safety and rights of an individual with a disability or a vulnerable person

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
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actions

  • 07 / May / 2014
    • REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • 21 / May / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.916
  • 28 / May / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 7232A
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A9605A
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.410
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 11 / Sep / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 23 / Sep / 2014
    • SIGNED CHAP.394

Summary

Relates to investigations by observing critical protocols and procedures to ensure the safety and rights of an individual with a disability or a vulnerable person; establishes such protocols and procedures be developed by the justice center and the relevant advisory council and appropriate state agency; requires such protocols and procedures be developed by 1/1/2015 and be submitted to the legislature and implemented by 3/1/2015.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9605A
Versions:
S7232
S7232A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง553, Exec L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7232A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to
ensuring the safety and rights of an individual with a disability or a
vulnerable person

PURPOSE:

This bill amends Executive Law to require development and
implementation of protocols and procedures which the Justice Center
for People with Special Needs shall adopt to protect the health and
safety of consumers of services in the event that it is necessary to
obtain information from them for purposes of conducting an
investigation

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

This bill would require that the Justice Center, in consultation with
the appropriate state agency 1) develop protocols and procedures to
determine under what circumstances obtaining information from an
individual with a disability is clinically contraindicated and to
develop safeguards to ensure that the individual's safety and well
being are protected in light of clinically relevant information; 2)
develop procedures to determine if the individual has the legal
capacity to understand the interview process and/or questions being
asked of him or her, inform the individual of what to expect during an
interview, develop appropriate means of interviewing the individual in
light of their capacity to comprehend and develop and implement
procedures for the notification and appropriate involvement of
parents, legal guardians and others with a relationship to the
individual; 3) develop procedures for the appropriate notification and
involvement of provider agencies; and, 4) require training of Justice
Center personnel in protocols and procedures developed pursuant to
this act.

JUSTIFICATION:

The law establishing the Justice Center includes necessary law
enforcement provisions. However, the stated purpose of that same
legislation was to protect individuals "against abuse, neglect and
other conduct that would jeopardize their health, safety and welfare."
Unfortunately, the law does not include provisions to ensure that the
Justice Center carries out its law enforcement responsibilities in a
manner that avoids jeopardizing the "health, safety and welfare" of
these same individuals after taking into account critical information,
including clinical status, which is essential to the well-being of
persons whom the Justice Center has been created to protect. This gap
in the law has raised questions concerning the adequacy of Justice
Center procedures and protocols for dealing directly with vulnerable
persons and individuals with disabilities and their loved ones,
including parents and legal guardians.

The need to adapt to this challenge is especially clear when it comes
to safely and effectively obtaining information from a person with a
disability, including an intellectual disability, necessary to pursue
an investigation. Such individual may lack the ability to understand
questions; lack the ability to understand their rights when being


interrogated; and may be traumatized by interviews or interrogations
which are clinically contraindicated. Their well-being often
critically depends on their relationship with a parent, family member
or legal guardian. All of these factors must be thoroughly understood
in advance to ensure the individual's safety and well-being.

Further, the parents and/or legal guardians of such individuals are
likely to have a legal, moral or emotional obligation to their loved
one. Such obligation can only be fulfilled if they receive prior
notice that their loved may need to answer questions or give
information necessary for the success of an investigation. Further,
involvement of parents or guardians may be critical in order to obtain
accurate information critical to an investigation.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 7232--A
    Cal. No. 916

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 7, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop-
  mental Disabilities -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered
  to first and second report, ordered to a third  reading,  amended  and
  ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading

AN  ACT  to  amend the executive law, in relation to ensuring the safety
  and rights of an individual with a disability or a vulnerable person

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 553 of the executive law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 28 to read as follows:
  28.  TO  CARRY  OUT INVESTIGATIONS BY OBSERVING CRITICAL PROTOCOLS AND
PROCEDURES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF A VULNERABLE  PERSON  OR  PERSONS  IN
LIGHT  OF  THEIR  CLINICAL, PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS AND THE NEED FOR THE
TIMELY COMPLETION OF AN  EFFECTIVE  INVESTIGATION.  SUCH  PROTOCOLS  AND
PROCEDURES SHALL BE DEVELOPED BY THE JUSTICE CENTER IN CONSULTATION WITH
THE  ADVISORY  COUNCIL  ESTABLISHED  PURSUANT  TO  SECTION  FIVE HUNDRED
SIXTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE AND THE APPROPRIATE STATE AGENCY.    PROTOCOLS
AND  PROCEDURES  DEVELOPED JOINTLY BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE JUSTICE CENTER
AND THE RESPECTIVE STATE OVERSIGHT AGENCY SHALL BE CONSIDERED FINAL UPON
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DIRECTOR AND ANY SUCH COMMISSIONER AND  SHALL  NOT
DEPEND  ON  A FINAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DIRECTOR OF THE JUSTICE CENTER
AND ALL AFFECTED AGENCY COMMISSIONERS.   SUCH PROTOCOLS  AND  PROCEDURES
SHALL INCLUDE:
  (A)  IN  THE  EVENT  THAT IT IS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN INFORMATION IN THE
COURSE OF AN INVESTIGATION  FROM  A  VULNERABLE  PERSON,  PROTOCOLS  AND
PROCEDURES  SHALL  BE ESTABLISHED FOR ASCERTAINING WHETHER OR NOT INTER-
VIEWING SUCH PERSON IS CLINICALLY CONTRAINDICATED PRIOR TO  SUCH  INTER-
VIEW  TAKING  PLACE.   NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO
REQUIRE A FORMAL CLINICAL ASSESSMENT PRIOR TO INTERVIEWING A  VULNERABLE
PERSON.
  (I)  FOR THOSE VULNERABLE PERSONS SUBJECT TO AN INTERVIEW, THE JUSTICE
CENTER SHALL DEVELOP APPROPRIATE PROCEDURES AND PROTOCOLS TO ENSURE THAT
ANY INTERVIEW IS CONDUCTED SAFELY AND IN A TIMELY FASHION  IN  LIGHT  OF

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15035-11-4

S. 7232--A                          2

RELEVANT  CLINICAL,  BEHAVIORAL AND OTHER FACTS RELATING TO THE INDIVID-
UAL'S DISABILITY, SAFETY AND WELLBEING.  SUCH PROTOCOLS  AND  PROCEDURES
SHALL ALSO RECOGNIZE ANY ABILITY THE VULNERABLE PERSON MAY HAVE TO ADVO-
CATE  ON HIS OR HER OWN BEHALF BY PROVIDING INFORMATION TO FACILITATE AN
INVESTIGATION TO ENHANCE HIS OR HER OWN SAFETY  AND  WELLBEING  AND  THE
SAFETY AND WELLBEING OF OTHERS.
  (II)  IN  THE  EVENT  THAT AN INTERVIEW IS CLINICALLY CONTRAINDICATED,
DESPITE THE PROVISION OF APPROPRIATE PROCEDURES AND PROTOCOLS, INCLUDING
SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS  FOR  EFFECTIVELY  AND  SAFELY  OBTAINING  TIMELY
INFORMATION  IN  LIGHT  OF THE PERSON'S CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS SUCH AS
THE PRESENCE OF A PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE AS  DEFINED  IN  SECTION  FOUR
HUNDRED  EIGHTY-EIGHT  OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, THE VULNERABLE PERSON
SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM SUCH INTERVIEW.   HOWEVER, THE JUSTICE  CENTER  MAY
DETERMINE  NOT  TO GRANT SUCH EXEMPTION IF, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROTOCOLS
AND PROCEDURES DEVELOPED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION,  IT  DETERMINES  THAT
THERE  EXISTS  AN  OVERRIDING  HEALTH AND SAFETY NEED TO PROCEED WITH AN
INTERVIEW OF THE VULNERABLE PERSON AND PROVIDED THAT THE JUSTICE  CENTER
TAKES NECESSARY MEANS TO PROTECT SUCH VULNERABLE PERSON'S HEALTH, SAFETY
AND WELLBEING DURING SUCH INTERVIEW.
  (B)  PROCEDURES  TO  INFORM  A VULNERABLE PERSON AND/OR THEIR PERSONAL
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PROTOCOLS USED  IN  AN  INTERVIEW  AND  THAT  SUCH
INTERVIEW  IS  VOLUNTARY.  FURTHER,  IF  APPLICABLE AS DETERMINED BY THE
JUSTICE CENTER, THE VULNERABLE PERSON SHALL BE INFORMED THAT ANY  SEARCH
OF  THE  VULNERABLE  INDIVIDUAL'S  PERSON OR PROPERTY SHALL ALSO BE DONE
VOLUNTARILY.  SUCH PROCEDURES SHALL INCLUDE:
  (I) APPROPRIATE NOTIFICATION TO A VULNERABLE  PERSON  AS  TO  WHAT  TO
EXPECT IN AN INTERVIEW;
  (II)  AN  APPROPRIATE  MEANS OF INTERVIEWING A VULNERABLE PERSON GIVEN
THE LIMITATIONS SUCH INDIVIDUAL MAY HAVE IN COMPREHENDING  QUESTIONS  AS
WELL AS GIVEN LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL BARRIERS TO SUCH UNDERSTANDING;
  (III) APPROPRIATE NOTIFICATION, WHEN AT ALL ADVISABLE GIVEN THE NATURE
OF  AN  INVESTIGATION  TO  A  PERSONAL  REPRESENTATIVE THAT A VULNERABLE
PERSON SHALL BE QUESTIONED OR SUBJECT TO AN INTERVIEW AND TO ENABLE SUCH
PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION WHICH THEY BELIEVE IS
NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE INDIVIDUAL;
  (IV) PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING UNDER  WHAT  CIRCUMSTANCE  A  PERSONAL
REPRESENTATIVE  SHALL  ACCOMPANY  AN  INDIVIDUAL  WITH A DISABILITY OR A
VULNERABLE PERSON DURING AN INTERVIEW.
  (C) PROCEDURES TO FACILITATE THE PREPARATION OF PERTINENT INFORMATION,
INCLUDING CLINICAL INFORMATION, NECESSARY TO SAFELY CONDUCT AN  INVESTI-
GATION  PURSUANT  TO  THIS SECTION, INCLUDING TIMELY NOTIFICATION BY THE
JUSTICE CENTER TO THE APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL OF THE AGENCY
SERVING SUCH VULNERABLE PERSON THAT SUCH INFORMATION WILL  BE  REQUIRED.
SUCH  INFORMATION  SHALL BE READILY AVAILABLE TO THE JUSTICE CENTER ON A
FORM IT PRESCRIBES PRIOR TO ANY CONTACT BETWEEN THE JUSTICE  CENTER  AND
SUCH INDIVIDUAL.
  S  2.  Subdivision  4 of section 553 of the executive law, as added by
section 3 of part A of chapter 501 of the laws of 2012,  is  amended  to
read as follows:
  4.  To  develop standards and training curricula for investigators who
will be assigned to investigate reportable incidents  involving  vulner-
able  persons,  and  to provide periodic training to such investigators.
Such standards, curricula and training shall address  topics  including,
but not limited to: (a) how to identify and investigate reportable inci-
dents; (b) the duty to report reportable incidents; (c) the requirements
of  all  codes  of  conduct;  (d) all applicable disciplinary processes;

S. 7232--A                          3

[and] (e) PROTOCOLS AND PROCEDURES PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION  TWENTY-EIGHT
OF THIS SECTION; AND (F) employees' rights pursuant to this article;
  S  3.  Protocols and procedure required by this act shall be developed
by January 1, 2015 and shall be submitted to the majority leader of  the
senate  and  the  speaker of the assembly and implemented by the justice
center by March 1, 2015.  Regulations describing and  implementing  such
protocols and procedures shall be finalized no later than April 1, 2015.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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