ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's agency responsible for protecting the state's disabled told county prosecutors last fall that it would begin sending referrals of abuse cases to them, a move that came more than two years after it was created to fill a chronic gap in enforcement.

The Justice Center, whose suburban Albany office receives thousands of reports of alleged abuse and neglect, has its own prosecutors who have jurisdiction along with the counties' 62 district attorneys.

An Associated Press examination last year of misconduct complaints against caretakers found that only a small percentage — a disturbingly small one, according to some activists — was being prosecuted.

A center spokeswoman says district attorneys were already being notified by phone or email, and the memo merely advised they would now also be notified electronically.