We have represented numerous children and adults with disabilities who have been abused by caregivers in their residential schools and group homes. On occasion, the perpetrators of that abuse have been found to have previous allegations of abuse substantiated by the Disabled Person Protection Commission (DPPC). While there has been an accessible registry of individuals with criminal charges maintained by the Commonwealth’s Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, known as CORI, there has been no corresponding registry for DPPC findings.
Dana’s Law/Nicky’s Law (H4026 and S2606) are currently under consideration by the Massachusetts Legislature. If enacted, the legislation would establish a mandatory registry for those individuals working in DDS-funded programs who are the subject of substantiated reports of abuse and would prevent DDS and DDS providers from hiring individuals whose names appear in the registry.
Many individuals and organizations, including The Arc of Massachusetts, have been advocating for the passage of these laws. The Arc is hosting a vigil at the Massachusetts State House on November 15th to urge passage of Nicky’s Law. We encourage all to support this important legislation.