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Formal agreements (MOUs)

Formal agreements (MOUs)

May of 1999 marked the first time that representatives from the Attorney General's office, the district attorney's offices, Massachusetts State Police, adult protective services, and human service agencies came to the table with the primary objective being the establishment of a formal written protocol that would ensure the swift and effective reporting and investigation of abuse and crimes committed against persons with disabilities. This partnership has become known as the Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities Initiative (BPI). The Building Partnerships Initiative has been institutionalized through formal Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). This agreement brings together the eleven district attorneys, Massachusetts State Police, Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC), Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) to utilize a multidisciplinary approach to address violence committed against persons with disabilities. The MOU's are the cornerstone of the Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities Initiative, describing each agency role and responsibility to ensure all situations are addressed and to prevent duplication.

The MOU identifies designated assistant district attorneys, state police liaisons and adult protective and human service agency contacts. The MOU describes a multidisciplinary approach to addressing violence committed against persons with disabilities and identifies the specific role of the parties involved. The multidisciplinary team is comprised of the district attorneys, State Police, DDS, DMH, MRC and the DPPC. The goals of the multidisciplinary approach are to provide protection, treatment and continuity of care for persons with disabilities who are victims of a crime, to increase awareness of crimes being committed against persons with disabilities, to increase communication and cooperation between law enforcement, professionals, and agencies providing services to people with disabilities and to ensure that crimes committed against people with disabilities are reported promptly, investigated by trained law enforcement personnel and prosecuted by the district attorneys.

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