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NCJ Number: 121561 Find in a Library
Title: Protection of Elderly Mentally Incompetent Individuals Who Are Victims of Abuse (From Abuse of the Elderly: Issues and Annotated Bibliography, P 64-74, 1989, Benjamin Schlesinger and Rachel Schlesinger, eds. -- See NCJ-121555)
Author(s): G Sharpe
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Reasoned Straight Program, Inc
Jessup, MD 20794
Sale Source: Reasoned Straight Program, Inc
P.O. Box 700
Jessup, MD 20794
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Although recent Canadian legislation has begun to protect the rights of the elderly in some areas, the criminal justice system does little to protect elders who are victims of abuse or neglect.
Abstract: While prosecutorial options should always be considered, in cases of elder abuse, there is often not enough evidence to construct a legally provable charge of assault against a specific person. Existing legislation in Ontario does not authorize intervention appropriate in circumstances of elder abuse; protective legislation does not contain a statutory obligation to intervene or protect mentally incompetent abuse victims. However, social service and health workers can, to some extent, utilize voluntary measures to gain access to abused elders. A proposed model for intervention to protect mentally incapable victims of abuse is based on principles of protecting the victim, protecting the individual without unduly infringing on their privacy, preserving the procedural rights of the abused adult, and respecting the integrity of the family unit wherever possible. The criteria for intervention include having reasonable grounds to believe there is abuse, the victim is mentally incapable of extricating himself from the situation, and making reasonable and unsuccessful attempts to gain voluntary access to the victim. The key features of intervention would be gaining access to the individual and admitting him or her to a place of safety. A two-option process -- statutory power and protective service order (either protective supervision or temporary protective care and custody) -- are proposed for authorizing the intervention. The proposed legislation may contain a mandatory reporting requirement, as well as provisions for follow-up evaluations of the victim.
Main Term(s): Elder Abuse
Index Term(s): Canada; Mental health services
Note: This paper appeared in Mayor Mel Lastman's Task Force on Abuse of the Elderly Proceedings, October 1985, P 21-36.
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