Budget cuts eliminate background checks.


The Disabled Persons Protection Commission recently stopped allowing employers to tap into its database of complaints to do background checks on the people they want to hire to work with the disabled.

Advocates for the disabled say the move, effective April 1, is especially dangerous because reports of abuse are on the rise.

“It is a much more dangerous place to be today without those background checks than it was March 31st,” said David Hart, president of Coalition of Families and Advocates.

Hart says the background checks are critical because most allegations of abuse against the disabled do not result in criminal charges, so they won’t be picked up on a criminal background check.

“People that have developmental disabilities, 90 percent of them will be abused or neglected in their lifetime,” Hart said. “Removing the background checks, I think you’re opening up to even more possibilities of abuse and neglect.”

To one woman who saw first hand what abuse can do to a disabled loved one, the cuts are devastating.

“Oh, it makes me sick,” said Gloria Medeiros, who says her daughter Christine was abused at a group home by controlling and manipulative staff members...

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