The NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to keep the public informed about the duty to report and investigate all allegations of abuse and neglect against people with special needs, conducted a number of presentations and trainings in New York State in December.

“When individuals who provide care completely understand their responsibilities when reporting incidents to the Justice Center, everyone benefits – most importantly the people we serve,” said Justice Center Deputy Director of Outreach, Prevention and Support Davin Robinson. “Our outreach efforts also help to provide the Justice Center with important feedback on ways we can improve our performance and operations.”

The presentations were made on location in New York City, Goshen, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Tupper Lake to a variety of audiences, including, staff working at facilities and agencies, and the Eastern Panel of the NYS Citizen Review Panel.

Training included presentations to personnel at the Goshen Secure Center of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies, and investigators employed by the state agencies the Justice Center oversees.

“The Justice Center conducted two training programs for investigators employed by state oversight agencies and providers of services subject to Justice Center investigation. The sessions, offered in Schenectady and Manhattan, provided investigators comprehensive information on Justice Center processes for completing investigations into allegations of abuse, neglect and significant incidents, along with best practices for investigative interviewing of staff and individuals receiving services,” said Justice Center Law Enforcement Training Academy Deputy Director Lawrence Murello. The program, entitled, “Investigating Abuse, Neglect and Significant Incidents” is offered on an ongoing basis. Click here for a course description, list of upcoming sessions and on-line registration. Open dates remain available for 2017, and agencies interested in hosting a session should email the Justice Center.

The Justice Center’s goal is to prevent mistreatment of people with special needs and ensure that all allegations of abuse or neglect are reported and fully investigated. The Justice Center investigates, reviews and makes findings when it receives reports of allegations of abuse and neglect by staff – including employees, volunteers, interns, consultants, or contractors – against individuals who receive services. 

The Justice Center’s primary purpose and responsibility is to protect the health, safety and welfare of people with special needs who receive services or supports from state operated, certified or licensed facilities and programs.  The Justice Center oversees facilities or programs operated, licensed or certified by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Mental Health (OMH), Department of Health (DOH), Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), and the State Education Department (SED).

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Contact: Bill Reynolds (518) 414-1299