There is hereby established a special commission for the purpose reducing injury to juveniles and young adults in the care and custody of the staff of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) and reducing injuries to the staff of the department incurred as a result of violence on staff and the need by staff to intervene during client on client violence.
Said commission shall be responsible for evaluating existing practices used during incidents of client assaults on staff and client on client assaults. The commission shall review and evaluate current restraint policies and procedures, or the lack thereof, used by staff in instances of violence involving a single staff member or two or more staff members.
The commission shall also evaluate the current system of training new and existing department staff in restraint policies and procedures training.
The commission shall also be responsible for evaluating the department’s process for documenting incidents of assault on staff and the department’s process for informing staff and DYS clients of the process for reporting assaults on staff as stipulated in a 2013 legally-binding Memorandum of Agreement executed by the department and Council 93 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Upon review and evaluation of the aforementioned policies and procedures, the commission shall report its findings on any identified deficiencies in said policies and procedures that may increase the likelihood of injury to clients as well as recommendations to improve the current policies and procedures. In addition, the commission, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services; the Department of Industrial Accidents; the Department of Children and Families; and any other relevant state agency; shall report the following statistics for Fiscal Years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 to date:
-The number of accidental and intentional injuries to DYS clients as a result of assault on staff and client on client assault.
-The number of so-called “51A” child abuse investigations initiated against DYS staff by the Department of Children and Families as a result of violent workplace incidents involving DYS staff.
-The number of substantiated and un-substantiated 51A investigations.
-The number of DYS staff included on the Department of Children and Families “Registry of Alleged Perpetrators”
-The number of accidental and intentional injuries to DYS staff as a result of assault on staff and client on client assault.
-The estimated cost to the commonwealth due to staff injury as a result of violence, including workers’ compensation cost and worker overtime cost.
The advisory committee shall consist of:
Two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House; of whom shall be designated by the Speaker as a co-chair; two members of the Senate appointed by the Senate President, one of who shall be a co-chair designated by the Senate President.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services or his/her designee;
The Commission of Department of Youth Services or his/her designee;
Three representatives from the union workforce selected by the Executive Director of Council 93 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, all of whom shall have with at least three years of experience in DYS secure programs.
An employee of the Department of Children and Families selected by the President of Local 509 of the Service Employees International Union with direct experience in 51A child abuse investigations involving workers responsible for the care and custody of juvenile offenders;
The commission shall report its finding no later than June 1, 2016 to; the Governor of the Commonwealth; the House and Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the Speaker of the House; the Senate President; and the Executive Director of Council 93 of the American Federation, of State, County and Municipal Employees.
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