May 28, 2017

State lawmakers look to prevent sex offenders from being treated at certain psych centers

5-28-17 New York:

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- State lawmakers are looking at new restrictions for sex offenders.

The Senate passed a bill this week to prevent sex offenders from living in group homes run by the Office of Mental Health or the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

Another Senate bill was passed last week that would prevent sex offenders from getting treatment at certain psychiatric centers.

Both bills are now waiting for approval by the Assembly.

Allison Scanlon and David Chudy with the group, Save Our Children’s Psychiatric Center, told us they welcome any bill that would keep kids safe.

Scanlon’s son received treatment at the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca for about three and a half years.

“When that door clicks and shuts behind you, you can’t just turn around and open that door and get to your child,” said Scanlon. “You have to trust that those people and that facility are going to take the best care of your child.”

Scanlon told News 4 she had complete trust in the West Seneca facility. Her son was discharged about eight years ago after he was treated for four disabilities, he now has a job and is learning to drive.

Governor Cuomo is moving forward with plans to relocate the children’s facility to the adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center on Forest Ave.

Scanlon is worried the children will be exposed to adults and will lose quality of care.

In response to safety concerns, State Senator Rob Ortt told News 4 he proposed a bill to prevent sex offenders from getting inpatient or outpatient treatment at the same facility or location as a children’s psychiatric facility.

“That needs to be in place,” said Scanlon. ..Continued..

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