Thanks to a recent grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, CHANA is now creating a model of collaboration in Baltimore City designed to eradicate elder abuse and provide justice for its victims.

The grant, given to only four organizations in the nation, allows CHANA, through its SAFE: Stop Abuse of Elders division, to administer a series of critical trainings to individuals in Baltimore City who come in close contact with potential victims and elder abuse cases. These trainings—which range from identifying elder abuse and applying the law to sentencing guidelines – will be offered to law enforcement officials, city prosecutors, city judges and victim service provides, such as adult protective services.

The trainings, which began last fall, provide law enforcement and other organizations with the tools to work across departments to better identify cases of elder abuse and successfully prosecute them, as well as develop a victim services system of response.

In addition, in the long term, the Baltimore City Police Department is expected to use the information garnered from these trainings to integrate it into the Police Academy’s curriculum.

“The training afforded by this federal grant gives us insight and practical knowledge about the intricacies and permutations of the various crimes committed against our older citizens. As we work to create a safer Baltimore City, collaborations such as this for elder abuse serve as a replicable model for change,” says Major Steve Hohman, Baltimore Police Department.

“This grant has identified gaps in laws and policies to older adult victimizations,” explains Liz Briscoe, Baltimore City Health Department Aging and CARE Services. “This multidisciplinary approach …. (will) ultimately increase victim safety and offender accountability.”

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The Associated Contributors

The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.