Staffed with highly trained and experienced investigators, the Justice Center is empowered by New York State to investigate and prosecute crimes against vulnerable New Yorkers. The Justice Center also assists other law enforcement agencies – such as the New York State Police, local police departments, and district attorneys – with their investigations that involve abuse or neglect of people with special needs. 

The Office of Investigations is divided into six units: 

  • Field Investigations - Responsible for investigating criminal and administrative allegations of abuse and neglect, and coordinating efforts with state and local law enforcement, the Justice Center’s Special Prosecutor / Inspector General, and county district attorneys.
  • Medical Review Board - Is comprised of up to 15 members, including specialists in forensic pathology, psychiatry, internal medicine and addiction medicine.
  • Mortality Review Unit - Reviews all deaths of individuals receiving services from a residential facility or residential program operated, licensed or certified by the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and Office of Children and Family Services.
  • Out of State Placement Unit - Investigates and/or reviews all allegations of abuse and neglect received via the VPCR for NYS residents placed outside of NYS.
  • Law Enforcement Training Academy - Directs training programs for local and statewide law enforcement agencies and academies on an ongoing basis.
  • Incident Review and Assignment (Triage) - Reviews all serious allegations of abuse and neglect that are assigned to the to the NYS Justice Center for investigation, and assesses each case for criminality.  Completes a preliminary assessment of allegations of abuse and neglect within programs licensed, certified or operated by the NYS Office of People With Developmental Disabilities and the NYS Office of Mental Health to determine that the most appropriate classification is made based on available evidence.  Reviews all State Oversight Agency-led investigations of abuse and neglect.  Conducts State Central Registry checks on all subjects in abuse and neglect cases.