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 across New York State in November.

“The goal of the Justice Center’s outreach efforts is to be sure mandated reporters completely understand what their responsibilities are when reporting incidents to the Justice Center,” said Justice Center Director of Outreach, Prevention and Support Services Davin Robinson. “Just as important to the Justice Center is getting feedback from professionals on ways we can improve the Justice Center’s operations and performance.”

The presentations were made on location and over the web in Utica, Malone, Cohoes, Albany, Rye Brook, Buffalo and Bolton Landing to a variety of audiences, including families, service recipients, and staff working at facilities under the jurisdiction of 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).