Governor Cuomo calls for closing of Monroe Developmental Center
Posted at: 03/08/2013 2:47 PM
| Updated at: 03/09/2013 10:47 AM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
90 patients of the Monroe Developmental Center could end up in new group homes, with less security.
According to the courts, these are registered sex offenders, people with violent pasts and those with severe psychiatric needs.
It's all part of an effort since 1999 to deinstiutionalize disabled people and get them living in the community. But people with the Monroe Developmental Center say most of their patients are not like other people with disabilities, these patients have a violent past and pose a danger to others and themselves.
Randi DiAntonio, the council leader for the Public Employees Federation, Division 259, says soon they could be in group homes near your neighborhood.
“Bulk of people there were court ordered into placement, due to dangerousness.”
A press conference today called attention to the dangers this closing could mean.
“The reality is the developmental center provides a self contained, very structured, predictable environment that affords these individuals, who have been unsuccessful in almost ever other setting, the opportunity to work, to engage in treatment to receive all the support they need to be stable,” said DiAntonio.
With the closing of MDC, patients will be moved in homes that don't have the same level of security that these individuals need, and she says that impacts a lot of people.
“Local hospitals and law enforcement, cause typically what happens when you move people with very high needs into less controlled settings the staff isn't able to manage those behaviors and they end up calling 9-1-1, or having them mental hygiene arrested,” said DiAntonio.
But The Center for Disability Rights has a different opinion. Chris Hildabrant, Chief Operating Officer of CDR, says a disabled person should be able to live where they see fit and he thinks MDC's portrayal of its patients is unfair.
“In some ways they compared them to shooters in recent tragedies. They have portrayed the individuals as imminent dangers, and portrayed MDC as maximum security location. Which clearly it is not there is not fence there is no guns. I think they have very much over stated the danger,” said Hildabrant.
DiAntonio adds, “reintegration and deinstitutionalization has been done in the past. Some people have been successfully reintegrated and others have failed. The concerns we have are these decisions are not being based on people's needs, but a deadline, and in our opinion, money.”
The governor's officer sent News10NBC this statement on this the closing:
“For decades, New York State has been integrating individuals with developmental disabilities into appropriate community-based settings both to improve care and treatment as well as comply with federal law. Placement decisions are carefully made on a case by case basis and any individual deemed to be a sex offender, or threat to the safety of a community, would never be placed in a setting where they could harm themselves or others.”
MDC is set to close December 31 of this year, But MDC hopes to get this pushed back, or stopped altogether. MDC did say they aren't opposed to the center closing, if they can get all their patients into the proper homes and centers with the correct level of security and care they need.