Assemblyman Lopez Votes In Support Of “Jonathan’s Law”

Bill will work to make mental health facilities safer
April 23, 2007
Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I – Schoharie) today helped pass Jonathan’s Law, a bill that will make mental health facilities in New York state safer for those in their care.

Recently, 13-year-old Jonathan Carey died after it was reported that he was improperly restrained by his caretakers during transport.

“I am saddened that it took this horrible tragedy to bring this issue to light,” said Lopez. “We must ensure that those who are under the care of mental health facilities are properly protected in order to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future. That is why I voted for the passage of Jonathan’s Law.”

Jonathan’s parents felt that their non-verbal son was not being cared for properly. They removed their son from the facility, but were only able to access a one-page report of the incident. After being placed in another facility, Jonathan died during transport.

If his parents were given sufficient information regarding the incident, the tragedy may have been averted.

The bill passed today will help to ensure that parents and guardians are able to get access to reports and investigative records related to their child. Parents and guardians will be notified within 24 hours of the initial report, and if requested, will be provided with a copy of the written incident report.

“It is sad to think that Jonathan’s death could have been averted, but was not because of a lack of information,” Lopez stated. “With the help of today’s legislation, parents will have vital, timely access to all information on the care of their children.”