New York “Justice Center” Flooded With Calls
After less than two months in operation, the call center for the New York State Justice Center for People with Special Needs has been busy.
The new agency’s hotline has received more than 15,000 calls.
Executive director Jeffrey Wise says the Justice Center started operations on June 30.
The agency was established to protect New Yorkers in state operated, certified or licensed facilities and programs.
Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Wise said about 1700 calls involved allegations of abuse and neglect.
Wise said investigations started following complaints to the agency have resulted in “four or five” arrest warrants. He said there are more to come.
An Endicott man was arrested for allegedly choking a boy in his care at the Children’s Home in Hillcrest.
Wise said the Justice Center now employs about 230 people. He said the agency has established an office in western New York and he expects a regional office may open soon in Binghamton.
Investigators for the Justice Center have been undergoing training so they can look into complaints made to the agency.
The Justice Center will maintain a registry of people who’ve been found responsible for serious or repeated acts of abuse or neglect. Those on the “staff exclusion list” will be prohibited from being hired in state regulated facilities.
No one has yet been placed on that list but Wise said he expects a few names will start to appear “fairly soon.”
The Justice Center hotline number is 855.373.2122.
More information about the Justice Center is available at the agency’s website.