Elder Justice Initiative (EJI)
The Justice Department Issues Fifth Annual Elder Justice Report
The mission of the Elder Justice Initiative is to support and coordinate the Department’s enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect and financial fraud and scams that target our nation’s older adults. We engage in this work by focusing on the following mission areas:
Providing targeted training and resources to elder justice professionals including prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, victim specialists, first responders, civil legal aid employees, and multi-disciplinary teams to enhance their ability to respond to elder abuse efficiently and effectively.
Investigating and prosecuting financial scams targeting older adults. Promoting greater federal, state, and local coordination to resolve cases where long-term care entities provide grossly substandard care to their residents or patients.
Promoting foundational research into elder abuse and financial exploitation to transform the practice of professionals in ways that positively impact the lives of older adults.
Connecting older adults and their families or caregivers with appropriate investigative agencies, as well as empowering them with information about abuse and recovering from its effects.
The Department of Justice is committed to fighting for justice for older Americans through a robust and holistic response. Learn about the Department’s Elder Justice efforts:
The Department is pursuing a wide array of foreign and domestic schemes impacting older Americans. For example:
- The Department has aggressively investigated numerous transnational fraud schemes (e.g., Jamaican lottery and technical-support scams), bringing criminal and civil actions against hundreds of defendants from around the globe who victimized millions of Americans.
- The Department is actively pursuing nursing homes that are denying Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries essential nursing services to which they are entitled.
- And the Department is committed to prosecuting a wide array of CARES Act and COVID-19 fraud schemes.
The Department also supports older victims. The Department manages the National Elder Fraud Hotline, the first national hotline to assist older victims and their families in reporting fraud and/or finding local assistance. For those searching for resources online, the Elder Justice Neighborhood Map is designed to easily locate state-specific resources. The Department is advancing prevention through its elder abuse prevention research. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is promoting elder justice through:
- The Elder Justice AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship Program, helping to address the myriad legal needs of elder abuse victims (Blog).
- Funding state and local level elder abuse programs that provide direct community- and systems-based services to older victims (OVC Fact sheet).
- In 2020, funding the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to develop training and technical assistance for law enforcement on interacting with older victims and ensuring they have access to services in their community.
The Department supports the efforts of state and local law enforcement, and other elder justice professionals, through the development of training, resources, and tools. For example:
- The Elder Abuse Prosecutor video series covers many of the critical elements of investigating and prosecuting elder abuse, caregiver neglect, or financial exploitation.
- The Department supported the development of the Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement (EAGLE), a web module designed for law enforcement to quickly find resources to respond to elder abuse.
- Based on the EAGLE, the EAGLE Online Training is the first elder abuse training for law enforcement that has been certified by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST).
To promote the proliferation of elder abuse multidisciplinary teams, the Department launched the first Multidisciplinary Team Technical Assistance Center, including both live technical assistance and online resources. As part of this effort, the Elder Justice Network Locator Map displays where these networks are located throughout the country.
The Department is resolved to prevent elder abuse and financial fraud from occurring in the first place by actively promoting public awareness. Elder Justice Coordinators throughout the country regularly participate in public awareness events. The Elder Justice Website hosts a wide array of public awareness resources:
- Information about various forms of elder abuse can be found on the About Elder Abuse page.
- The Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force has identified trending schemes targeting older adults, with the belief that the best way to inoculate against scams is to know about them.
- Ready-made community presentations, complete with a PowerPoint, an instructor’s manual, and handouts designed to allow anyone to provide a community presentation.