Where can I find more information or assistance?

  • Information about Jonathan’s Law can be found in NY Mental Hygiene Law sections 33.23 and 33.25.
  • Additional requirements for access to records and documents within the OPWDD system can be found in 14 NY Codes, Rules, and Regulations sections 624.6 and 624.8.

Can records or documents obtained by a qualified person be shared?

Yes. An amendment to Jonathan’s Law, which became effective in 2013, permits the qualified person(s) who receive records and documents pertaining to reportable incidents to share them with:

  • Health care providers;
  • Behavioral health care providers;
  • Law enforcement agencies (if the qualified person believes a crime has been committed); and/or
  • The qualified person’s attorney.

How should requests for records and documents be made?

Requests for incident and investigation records must be made to the provider that was providing services to the individual at the time of the incident.

When allegations of abuse or neglect (reportable incident) are investigated by the Justice Center, the Justice Center will coordinate with the provider so that the disclosure of records and documents will be made in compliance with Jonathan’s Law and the Protection of People with Special Needs Act.

Are other records or documents about the incident available?

Jonathan’s law requires facilities to provide records and documents pertaining to allegations and investigations into abuse, neglect, and significant incidents (reportable incidents) to the qualified person(s) upon written request.

At the conclusion of an investigation of an abuse or neglect incident reported to the Justice Center, the Justice Center will notify the service recipient or their personal representative of the finding of the investigation. Reports of abuse and neglect are either substantiated or unsubstantiated.

Who will be notified if an incident has occurred?

  • A facility will inform the qualified person(s) by telephone of accidents or injuries that affect the health or safety of an individual receiving services within 24 hours of the initial report of the incident.
  • If requested by a qualified person, the facility must promptly provide a copy of the written incident report.
  • The facility must also offer to meet with the qualified person to further discuss the incident.

What is an “incident” and what is a “reportable incident”?

  • An “incident” is defined as an accident or injury that affects the health or safety of a person receiving services. A significant incident is defined as an incident that has the potential to result in harm to the health, safety or welfare of a person receiving services.
  • A “reportable incident” is defined as conduct that a mandated reporter is required to report to the NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center). Such conduct includes abuse, neglect, and significant incidents.

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