Where can I find the laws pertaining to the Justice Center?

The “Protection of People with Special Needs Act” created new safeguards for people with special needs who are served by state operated, licensed or certified facilities and programs. These standards and practices have been implemented to protect individuals in state care against abuse, neglect or other conduct that would jeopardize their health, safety and welfare.  

What happens after I make a report?

The Justice Center has a fully staffed investigations unit that will investigate the most serious cases of abuse and neglect.  Upon receipt of an incident report, Justice Center staff will review all cases and assign to either the Justice Center Investigations unit or another appropriate entity for investigation.  Allegations that rise to the level of a criminal offense will be investigated by the Justice Center’s Special Prosecutor/Inspector General.

What happens when the VPCR Hotline receives a report?

A trained call center representative will first determine if an emergency response is necessary and/or if the person receiving services faces imminent danger.  If it is an emergency situation, the representative will instruct the caller to phone 9-1-1 immediately, if this has not yet occurred.  A Justice Center supervisor will also contact the appropriate agency supervisor to inform him/her of the report.

Will the person(s) know that I reported him or her?

All reports are confidential. The law provides protections against the disclosure of a reporter’s identity, subject to limited exceptions such as consent from the reporter or in the event of a court order. The law grants immunity to voluntary reporters and Mandated Reporters from any legal claims which may arise from a good faith act of providing information to the Vulnerable Persons Central Register Hotline.  An employer or agency is prohibited from taking any retaliatory action against a person who has made a good faith act of providing information to the hotline.

How and where do I report abuse and neglect?

Reports of suspected abuse and neglect of a person in state care should be made immediately--at any time of the day or night and on any day of the week—by telephone to the Vulnerable Persons Central Register Hotline (sometimes referred to as VPCR). If an individual is in immediate danger you will be asked to hang up and call 9-1-1.   The telephone numbers to contact the VPCR hotline are:

Vulnerable Persons Central Register (VPCR) Hotline Number:

TOLL FREE: 1-855-373-2122

Free language services available.

What is considered abuse or neglect?

New York law defines abuse and neglect of vulnerable persons in broad terms, including both actual harm and the risk of harm. The following are a list of terms and some examples.

Physical Abuse

Intentional contact (hitting, kicking, shoving, etc.) corporal punishment, injury which cannot be explained and is suspicious due to extent or location, the number of injuries at one time, or the frequency over time

Psychological  Abuse

Taunting, name calling, using threatening words or gestures 

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