Blog

 
     

New York Law Leaves Loopholes for Sex Offenders to Work at Camps

By Michael Klazema on 8/30/2017
Because of a loophole in a New York State law, it may be possible for sex offenders to obtain employment at children’s camps. Per a report from News 12 Westchester, the issue lies with camp classification. Camps that focus on a single recreational activity are not regulated in the same way that general interest day camps or sleepaway camps are. As a result, the counselors and employees at these camps are not required to face the same screening standards as they might at other youth-serving programs.

The News 12 report noted that single-purpose camps are growing increasingly popular in the state of New York. These camps allow kids with specific interests to focus on improving their skills in those areas, from baseball to robot-building to ballet. Because these camps are classified as single-purpose programs, they avoid the law that typically requires camps to run criminal and sex offender registry background checks on counselors, coverage explained.

Other regulations that are common at sleepaway camps but not at single-purpose camps are minimal age verifications for camp counselors and regular inspections by the Health Department, reports noted.

A new piece of legislation could close the loopholes and force single-purpose camps to meet the same standards as other types of camps. The bill, proposed by State Senator David Carlucci, has already passed the State Senate. It is currently stalled in the General Assembly, coverage explained, where it will be revisited next year. If passed, the law would require single-purpose camps to search criminal records and sex offender registries for all prospective employees. Carlucci has stated that he views sex offender checks as particularly important to keep predators away from vulnerable kids.

News 12 noted that there are currently about 2,400 single-purpose camps in the state of New York. The state’s Department of Health has estimated that, at this point, there are probably as many single-purpose camps operating in New York as there are traditional or sleepaway camps. Some of these camps could be running background checks on their counselors and employees of their own volition, the DHS noted. However, since there is no law requiring the checks, parents have little guarantee that they are sending their kids to a safe environment.

If Carlucci’s bill gains support in the General Assembly and becomes law, it would likely go into effect sometime next year, coverage noted. News 12 encouraged parents to “ask a lot of questions” and find out which policies single-purpose camps observe for employee screening, health and safety inspections, and more.

Source: http://westchester.news12.com/story/36142120/news-12-probe-finds-loophole-that-could-let-sex-offenders-work-at-camps


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • April 19

    In a post-Penn State scandal world, universities are more aware than ever of the need to protect students by vetting faculty. The extent of this vetting and its implementation are hot topics causing controversy on campuses nationwide.


  • April 18 Amazon’s criminal background checks look back seven years and consider any convictions from that time. All finalists must complete criminal background searches, reference checks, and drug tests.
  • April 17

    From entry-level positions to roles involving “Top Secret” security clearances, military roles can involve a variety of different background investigations. We look at what different types of military background checks entail.


  • April 17 A new CNBC series is looking at true HR stories and their lessons. The most recent installment looked at the consequences of not running background checks.
  • April 12 Complicated by patchwork legislation and continuing federal prohibition, marijuana legalization poses several challenges for employers and would-be employees alike. Despite its legal status in a growing number of states, marijuana continues to negatively impact job-seekers.
  • April 12 Familiarizing yourself with the legality of background checks is essential. Continue reading about laws and regulations.
  • April 11

    Understanding the background check obligations in your industry and state.

  • April 10 A former employee of a senior assisted living community is facing charges for stealing from a resident. The alleged theft occurred after the employee gained access to the patient’s credit cards and checking account.
  • April 06 Background checks aren’t pass or fail. Employers consider various factors before making any hiring decision based on background check data.
  • April 06  Level 1 and Level 2 are terms used in Florida law to describe background check requirements for employers. We look at what a Level 2 background check entails.