Summer 2016    Vol. 4 - Number 3
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Call for Nominations for Justice Center's 2016 Code of Conduct Recognition Award
The Justice Center is encouraging people to submit nominations for its first annual Code of Conduct Recognition Award, which will honor staff who embody the responsibilities set forth in the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs. The Code provides a framework for employees to help people with special needs “live self-directed meaningful lives in their communities, free from abuse and neglect, and protected from harm.” The deadline for nominations is Friday, July 22. Information can be found here and nomination forms here. â€œWe encourage individuals receiving services, families, provider agency personnel and the public to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate the work of staff whose actions demonstrate a commitment to the core values articulated in the Code of Conduct,” said William T. Gettman, Chair of the Justice Center Advisory Council. Four winners will be selected. Staff can nominate themselves or may be nominated by a person receiving services, family member, guardian, co-worker, supervisor or member of the public. The Justice Center’s Advisory Council will select award winners and issue the award at the Council's September meeting.  
Justice Center Trains Law Enforcement Personnel on Interviewing Vulnerable Victims and Witnesses
As part of its ongoing effort to change the way the criminal justice system responds to allegations of abuse and neglect involving vulnerable victims, the Justice Center's Office of the Special Prosecutor/Inspector General recently conducted its interactive Forensic Interviewing Best Practices for Vulnerable Populations training in Schenectady. This intensive three and one-half day course provided information about the developmental and emotional needs of people who have disabilities or special needs and teaches skills for interviewing individuals who become victims or witnesses. â€œThis training provides investigators and prosecutors with important knowledge to build upon their skills to conduct interviews of vulnerable persons in a developmentally-appropriate manner,” said Special Prosecutor/Inspector General Patricia E. Gunning. ”Our emphasis is on reducing the risk of re-traumatization while making sure the information gathered is credible and reliable.” The Justice Center makes this training available to all New York State law enforcement agencies and District Attorney’s Offices throughout the year. For more information about the Justice Center’s Forensic Interviewing Best Practices for Vulnerable Populations training, please contact the Office of the Special Prosecutor/Inspector General at
Justice Center Instructs SUNY Students
on the Investigation and Prosecution
of Crimes Against People with Special Needs

The Justice Center recently provided important instruction to SUNY Oneonta students about crimes committed by staff against people with special needs and the role the Justice Center plays in investigating and prosecuting those crimes. The agency’s experienced investigators made presentations to students in the college’s Criminal Justice program as part of the Justice Center’s ongoing mission to provide useful information to those responding to incidents involving people with special needs. â€œIt is critically important that students studying criminal justice understand how to best interact with individuals with disabilities, including mental health issues," said Justice Center Executive Deputy Director Jay Kiyonaga. The Justice Center’s Law Enforcement Training Academy explained how a “vulnerable person” and “abuse and neglect” are defined by law and what happens when a report of abuse or neglect is made to the Justice Center. The session also covered the important role of caregivers in preventing and reporting suspected abuse and neglect.
The Justice Center's Administrative Hearing Decisions Now Online and Searchable
The Justice Center's Administrative Hearing Decisions can now be found on the agency’s website.  An administrative appeal is the process by which a person or provider who is the subject of a substantiated report of abuse or neglect may challenge that finding.  The burden of proof is on the Justice Center to show with evidence that the subject committed the acts in question and provide justification for the level categorization of the acts of abuse or neglect reported. Additional information about the Administrative Appeals Process can be found on the Justice Center’s website.
Justice Center Unveils New Hotline Poster
 A new poster designed to raise awareness about the Justice Center's statewide toll-free hotline is available. The Vulnerable Persons’ Central Register hotline receives reports of suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable New Yorkers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Providers interested in obtaining posters for their facilities can do so by contacting their respective State Oversight Agency.) The poster, “
Keeping People with Special Needs Safe is Everyone’s Responsibility,” was designed to capture the spirit of partnership between the Justice Center and the dedicated men and women who provide supports and services to people with special needs. Staff and human service professionals who witness or suspect mistreatment of a vulnerable person have a duty to report the incident to the Justice Center’s hotline. Individuals receiving services, their families and the public are also encouraged to report. The poster lists the hotline’s number, 1-855-373-2122. If needed, free language interpretation assistance is available for callers. Posters are also available in languages other than English.
Look Before You Leave Hang Tags Available!
With warm weather here, it’s important to be sure people with disabilities or special needs are not left alone in a hot vehicle.  To that end, the Justice Center is again making hang tags available to remind drivers, transport aides, provider agency personnel and the public that they should look and verify that all passengers have departed the vehicle. The hang tag is part of the Justice Center’s Spotlight on Prevention toolkit - Protecting People with Special Needs from the Dangers of Being Left Unattended in Vehicles, which includes case studies, fact sheets, vehicle inspection safety tips, an infographic poster and an order form for hang tags used to remind drivers to inspect their vehicles. Click here to order your hang tags.
Justice Center Helps People Who Need
Funding for Pediatric Power Wheelchairs

The Justice Center, in partnership with National AT Advocacy Project of Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc., launched the second in a series of Assistive Technology Funding Toolkits – a resource that provides guidance for people seeking funding for pediatric power wheelchairs.  Power wheelchairs can help children gain mobility and participate in the same activities as their non-disabled peers. “Paying for a pediatric power wheelchair can be challenging, and many funding sources require documentation of a person’s need,” said Lisa Rosano-Kaczkowski, Director of the Justice Center’s Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID) Program. “This toolkit includes a funding checklist and sample letters from a physician and a healthcare professional that can be modeled to support requests for coverage.” The AT Funding Toolkit for Pediatric Power Wheelchairs includes:
Justice Center in the News
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161 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, New York 12054-1310

General Phone: (518) 549-0200
Report Abuse: 
1-855-373-2122 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Individual and Family Support Unit (IFSU): 1-800-624-4143  (Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm) Request Individual and Family Support.  Relay users, please dial 7-1-1 and give the operator 1-800-624-4143.
Information & Referral: 1-800-624-4143 (Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm)

Copyright © 2016 NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, All rights reserved.

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