The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Executive Director Denise M. Miranda announced that the Justice Center conducted several trainings and presentations in November, as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to educate provider agencies and caregivers about incident reporting and the Justice Center’s abuse prevention initiatives, and to enhance the knowledge and skills of investigators.
The Justice Center conducted the training sessions and education and outreach presentations at locations in Albany, Columbia, Queens, Onondaga, Ulster, and Warren counties to staff and investigators employed by both state and non-state operated service providers. Some presentations were made in conjunction with service provider agencies under the jurisdiction of the Justice Center.
The Justice Center trains investigators and law enforcement personnel on appropriate and effective methods to investigate allegations that people with special needs have been abused or neglected.
The Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) provided training in Erie, Kings and New York counties to 61 provider agency investigators and administrators overseen by the Justice Center.
“The Justice Center partners with State Oversight and provider agencies to administer high-level training to investigators who work outside the Justice Center. This ensures consistent investigative practices and techniques are used when working with a vulnerable population, which leads to a more complete investigation report,” said Larry Murello, Deputy Director of the Law Enforcement Training Academy.
Education and Outreach
The Justice Center works in partnership with provider agencies and their staff in training everyone involved with the care of people with special needs about the importance of reporting abuse and neglect, and their obligations under the law.
“The Justice Center strives to enhance the training of direct care workers so abuse and neglect can be stopped before they happen. Continual training is part of the process of creating a safe environment for people with special needs and those who care for them,” said Justice Center Deputy Director of Outreach, Prevention and Support Davin Robinson.
In November, staff from the Justice Center presented at conferences and meetings hosted by the Association for Community Living, the Adult Abuse Training Institute, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the New York State Association of Community & Residential Agencies, the Office of Children and Family Services, Samaritan Daytop Village, Berkshire Farm School, the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, and Central NY Quality Assurance Coalition.
The Justice Center’s goal is to prevent mistreatment of people with special needs and to 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 abuse and neglect by staff – including employees, volunteers, interns, consultants, or contractors – against individuals who receive services.
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).