Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs

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Mission

The core mission of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center) is to protect the health and safety of vulnerable individuals in the State's care. The Justice Center has primary responsibility for tracking, investigating, and pursuing serious abuse and neglect complaints at State facilities and provider-operated facilities that are certified or licensed by the following six agencies: Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the Department of Health (DOH), the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), and the State Education Department (SED).

Budget Highlights

The Justice Center is a nationwide model for improving care for vulnerable populations, transforming how our state protects the over one million New Yorkers living under the care of six State agencies.

The Executive Budget recommends $49.6 million in new appropriations for the Justice Center, and a workforce of 352 FTEs.

Other components and responsibilities of the Justice Center include the following:

  • The Justice Center's law enforcement branch has concurrent authority with district attorneys to prosecute abuse and neglect crimes committed against such persons.
  • A statewide 24/7 hotline staffed by trained professionals to ensure that allegations of abuse are promptly reported to law enforcement and are fully and effectively investigated.
  • A register of workers who have committed serious or repeated acts of abuse who will be prohibited from ever being hired again in any position where they would work with people with disabilities or special needs.
  • The responsibility to represent the State at all public employee disciplinary cases or those where the State is seeking termination of employment as the penalty.
  • Development of common standards for investigations and requirements used to train investigators.
  • Development of a code of conduct containing the basic ethical standards to which all individuals working with people with special needs and disabilities are required to subscribe and be held accountable.
  • Consolidation of background check procedures, including reviewing and evaluating the criminal history for any person applying to be an employee, volunteer, or consultant at any facility or provider agency operated, licensed or certified by OMH, OPWDD, and OCFS in a position where a background check is required.
  • The requirement to provide an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature concerning its work during the preceding year which will include data on central register reports, results of investigations, types of corrective actions taken, results of its review of patterns and trends relating to abuse and reporting of abuse, suggested corrective actions and training efforts.
ALL FUNDS
APPROPRIATIONS
(dollars)
Category Available
2013-14
Appropriations
Recommended
2014-15
Change From
2013-14
Reappropriations
Recommended
2014-15
State Operations 44,371,000 48,993,000 4,622,000 2,669,000
Aid To Localities 487,000 649,000 162,000 0
Total 44,858,000 49,642,000 4,784,000 2,669,000

ALL FUND TYPES
PROJECTED LEVELS OF EMPLOYMENT BY PROGRAM
FILLED ANNUAL SALARIED POSITIONS
Program 2013-14
Estimated FTEs
03/31/14
2014-15
Estimated FTEs
03/31/15
FTE Change
Justice Center
General Fund 254 326 72
Special Revenue Funds - Federal 1 1 0
Special Revenue Funds - Other 25 25 0
Total 280 352 72

Note: Most recent estimates as of 01/20/2014

Click for additional detailed appropriation tables

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