National Institute on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse

Institute
November 10 - 13, 2015

Studies reveal that a significant number of elder abuse cases go unreported, with fewer than 5% disclosed (Lifespan of Greater Rochester, 2011). Furthermore, a significant number of reported cases do not progress through the criminal justice system due to a lack of familiarity with effective investigation and prosecution strategies (Brandl et al., 2007). As a result, prosecutors and allied professionals must be properly trained and collaborate across disciplines to increase victim identification, encourage engagement with the system, and ultimately hold more offenders accountable.

The National Institute on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse (NIPEA) was a three-and-one-half-day course designed to challenge prosecutors to reevaluate their approach to prosecuting elder abuse cases. Participants received training on the dynamics of elder abuse as well as practical skills to successfully prosecute these cases. NIPEA explored the complex issues faced by prosecutors while balancing offender accountability with the impact of criminal prosecution on victims. In addition to case evaluation and litigation skills, the curriculum examines the benefits of developing a coordinated, victim-centered community response; explains common injuries and relevant medical evidence, providing guidance on the use of medical experts; explores ethical issues confronted by prosecutors; addresses the development and improvement of culturally-specific victim services; and offers prosecutors the ability to redefine outcomes and the very nature of justice in elder abuse cases.

NIPEA was hosted at The Westin Westminster in Westminster, Colorado. Fifty-three (53) prosecutors from across the country were in attendance, of which 5 were awarded scholarships to cover transportation and lodging expenses. Attendees qualified for approximately twenty (20) continuing legal education credit hours including at least one (1) hour of ethics credit. Participant comments from evaluations included:

  • "This has been the best training/series of trainings. Inspiring, substantive, well organized. I feel so grateful to be exposed to it. Thank you for doing these trainings. Amazing."
  • "Fantastic training. [ . . . ] Already motivated to go home and dig in!”
  • “Good job with case studies. Very practical. As a former educator, I recognize and appreciate the variety of teaching strategies you used.”

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