NY Senator Chuck Schumer has said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is failing to implement and follow through on implementing the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA), which mainly protects kids through better employment background checks, passed in March 2018. The law was supposed to be implemented March 2019.
“Protecting children, the elderly and people with disabilities from abuse must be a major priority at the Department of Justice, but this no-excuse delay with implementing the Child Protection Improvement Act really makes you worry,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “We have to have robust employment checks when it comes to staffing afterschool programs, preschools, nursing homes and other organizations that employ people whose job it is to oversee members of a vulnerable population.”
"Schumer publicly called on the DOJ to act, saying protecting kids from possible sex offenders, abusers or other vulnerable groups from transgressors must be a federal priority. Schumer demanded the DOJ and the FBI answer questions and immediately coordinate on getting the beefed-up employment background checks measures put in place ASAP, before a tragic case results," says a press release.
In New York City alone, according to the New York Sex Offender Registry, there are more than 8,000 offenders living in the City’s five counties, notes the release; according to numbers from the Democrat & Chronicle, as of 2016, the number of registered sex offenders in New York has increased by 60 percent from where it was a little more than a decade ago and now sits at around 39,000. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are more than 800,000 sex offenders across the U.S.
“This failure to implement the law that makes those checks stronger and easier to accomplish locally endangers the very innocents we sought to protect. That’s why the Department of Justice needs to tell Congress what is going on and then get moving,” Schumer added.
“As the world’s first child protection agency, The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (The NYSPCC), strongly supports the swift implementation of the Child Protection Improvements Act (the CPIA). There are dire consequences for children when pedophiles, and other unsafe adults in positions of trust, gain access to them. In-depth background checks are one of the most important tools that administrators of child-serving organizations have for hiring safe and appropriate employees and volunteers. The CPIA strengthens the screening process in all states, and must be implemented without further delay,” said Steve Forrester, Director of Government Relations and Administration at The NYSPCC.