BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)–Governor Baker signed into law last week a bill that will protect persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities from abusive caregivers.
Under the new law, the Disabled Persons Protection Commission will create and update a registry of individual care providers whom the commission finds has a credible allegation of abuse.
The law includes language outlining the ability of accused abusers to appeal and also requires the commission to notify the Department of Developmental Services, the last known employers of the care provider, and the victim of the abuse and their guardian of any finding of abuse, any appeal challenging an abuse determination, or any petition to remove a care provider from the registry.
It also requires the department and employers contracting with care providers to determine whether an individual is listed on the registry before hiring them. If the applicant is listed, their hiring would be prohibited. The bill is set up to require that the names of abusers stay on the registry for a minimum of five years.
The bill is also known as “Nicky’s Law,” named after a non-verbal autistic man who suffered abuse from a care giver. Massachusetts is the 27th state to have created this type of registry.