Justice for All – A Capitol Pressroom Series
July 21, 2023
WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom presents this special series, exploring decades of history as New York State grappled with its treatment of people with special needs.
PART ONE – “A Cycle of Abuse and Neglect”
Nearly 40 years before reporting in 2011 by the New York Times prompted a re-examination of the care for people with special needs, the state underwent a similar phase of introspection and reform. In the first installment of the “Justice for All” series, Capitol Pressroom host David Lombardo highlights four decades of history, including New York’s response to the failings at the Willowbrook school, the creation of an advocate, and a report intended to transform care for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
PART TWO – “A New Sheriff in Albany”
This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs, the state entity created in response to a 2011 exposé on the inadequate system of care for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. On the second installment of the “Justice for All” series, we highlight the work undertaken by the Justice Center over the last decade, including their approach to investigations, role in bringing prosecutions and preventing future abuse.
PART THREE – “Unfinished Business”
A 2012 report examining the state’s care for people with special needs offered a holistic series of recommendations on how to improve the quality of supervision and supports for vulnerable New Yorkers, but the reaction from state policymakers at the time – and since – has largely ignored the broader conversation about the human services system. On the third installment of the “Justice for All” series, we focus primarily on the workforce providing care to more than 1 million New Yorkers with special needs. We also examine the independence of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs and consider how abuse and neglect is reported.