Building Partnerships-Working Together to Protect Persons with Disabilities

The Massachusetts initiative known as Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities (the BPI) was formed in 1999 to address offenses committed against persons with disabilities. The BPI's mission is to better recognize, report and respond to abuse and crimes committed against persons with disabilities. The Initiative employs a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach and links the efforts of law enforcement, adult protective services, human services and other agencies and groups.

The BPI's member agencies participate in Memorandums of Understanding which create a defined partnership and outline the protocol for investigating and prosecuting these crimes. A special investigative unit of the Massachusetts State Police reviews all abuse reports received through the 24-hour hotline of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, and forwards complaints of criminal activity to the appropriate district attorney's jurisdiction. The BPI has developed standard curricula and trained thousands of service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, medical personnel, judiciary and court personnel, protective service investigators and persons with disabilities.

The BPI has won national recognition as a model of inter-agency cooperation in public safety. Originally funded by an Edward Byrne Memorial Grant through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the BPI is headquartered at the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and is maintained through the generous support of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.

The BPI membership includes the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC), the eleven District Attorneys and the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, the Massachusetts State Police, the Department of Developmental Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Public Health, the Executive Office of Elder , Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong.