Connecticut Pulls Disabled From Site of Alleged Beatings

A Connecticut agency plans to pull at least four disabled state residents out of a Florida rehabilitation center facing allegations that its patients were abused and neglected.

Terrence Macy, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services, said he was “outraged” watching video that police describe as footage of two autistic patients being beaten at the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation.

Macy said his department doesn’t plan to make any further placements at FINR and is taking steps to withdraw four of the 10 patients it already has sent to the facility in rural Wauchula, Florida. Last week, investigators from three state agencies conducted a surprise inspection of the treatment center, without disclosing what they found.

Wayne J. Miller, an attorney for closely held FINR, said the patients slated to leave the facility “have vastly improved as a result of the care they were given at FINR and are now well enough to be transferred to a facility in Connecticut that provides a lower level of care.” He said FINR has been working with Connecticut officials for a “few months” on the discharge of those patients.

Connecticut is responsible for certain disabled and mentally ill patients under laws entitling them to adequate care.

Incident Video

“Watching the video, I saw things that were reprehensible to me and horrific and would never be tolerated in this state,” Macy said.

In one video recorded last year, 21-year-old autistic patient Danny Silva sits on a couch between two large male staffers who punch, elbow and slap him at least 30 times.

The video was taken by a third employee using a mobile phone, according to police, and posted online last month by Bloomberg News. The two staffers have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of abuse.

Melinda Jakobowski, a mentally ill patient sent to Wauchula by Connecticut, died at a Tampa hospital last year after she was found unresponsive in her room at FINR. Investigations by Florida regulators determined that staff members failed to watch Jakobowski as required, including one who slept on the job.

The state will step up monitoring of Connecticut patients who remain at FINR, Macy said.

Full Article and Source:
Connecticut Pulls Disabled From Site of Alleged Beatings

8 Responses to “Connecticut Pulls Disabled From Site of Alleged Beatings”

  1. Norma Says:

    This series has done so much for victims who were trapped with nowhere to turn to for help, before Bloomberg News took on their plight. Thank you, NASGA, for following this important story.

  2. Thelma Says:

    I do hope that all the referring states do the same.

  3. StandUp Says:

    Good for CT. FINR needs to show it has cleaned up its act and this is another big step toward making sure it does.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Excellent reporting by Bloomberg News. If more major media would do investigations like Bloomberg's investigation of FINR, the world would be better off!I celebrate this series with NASGA as I know many NASGA members' loved ones are not the elderly, but are disabled adults.

  5. Vinnie Says:

    I think FINR probably does a good job in some – maybe many – areas, but if there's abuse, then there's no excuse for it and it takes national media like Bloomberg News to do something about it.I am also glad to see others like NASGA pick up on the stories and promote them.

  6. honeybear Says:

    The video turns my stomache. Shame on all who participated. Firing wasn't enough. Criminal charges shoudl have been filed against the perps.

  7. Karen Says:

    Action is what gets their attention. CT's CDDS took action and it will pay off. CT's CDDS didn't just take it in and study it; they took action. If more would do this, facilities like FINR would be more watchful of abuse and stop it. There is no reason for residents to be abused. FINR can do better background checking and surveliance.

  8. Carl Says:

    There are so many cases of abuse at facilities. Do a search on YouTube and it's amazing how many videos there are. And yet there's not a tidal wave of outrage in our country. Why is that? Could it be that old people just don't matter to society in general? Isn't that the defination of "ageism"?I join all other commenters who are thankful Bloomberg News took on the subject of FINR and tramatic brain injury.

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