Californians with significant developmental disabilities who are cared for at state facilities are being put at risk by outdated policies, leadership problems and poor-quality investigations of assaults and other crimes, the state auditor’s office concluded Tuesday.
The audit found employees of the California Department of Developmental Services do not always provide timely notification of incidents to its Office of Protective Services, which did not routinely follow its investigative procedures on alleged resident abuse at developmental centers.
The latter office “often failed to collect written declarations from suspects and witnesses, take photographs of crime scenes or alleged victims, and attempt to interview alleged victims, particularly residents said to be nonverbal,” wrote Chief Deputy State Auditor Doug Cordiner to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The auditor recommeded to the governor that significant improvements be made.
The report also warned that frequent turnover in the Office of Protective Services management has contributed to a lack of action to address problems first identified in 2002, including a lack of specialized training for investigators.
The auditors also said the office and department healthcare staff have been paid “excessively high amounts of overtime,” 23% of regular pay last year, caused by scheduling issues and hiring freezes.