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New elder abuse protections law

October 26, 2017
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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President Donald Trump signed into law new protections for seniors against abuse.

 S. 178, the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, establishes requirements for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes and enforce elder abuse laws.

The DOJ must:

  • designate Elder Justice Coordinators in federal judicial districts and at DOJ,
  • implement comprehensive training for Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and
  • establish a working group to provide policy advice.

The DOJ must establish best practices for data collection on elder abuse as well as and must also collect and publish information on elder abuse cases and investigations.

The DOJ, in coordination with the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, must provide information, training and technical assistance to help states and local governments investigate, prosecute, prevent and mitigate the impact of elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.

In addition, the law amends the federal criminal code to include “telemarketing or email marketing fraud” and add healthcare fraud to the list of fraud offenses subject to enhanced penalties.

The Department of Health and Human Services must provide data on elder abuse cases referred to adult protective services.

The Federal Trade Commission must designate an Elder Justice Coordinator within its Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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