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How Do Abused Elderly Persons and Their Adult Protective Services Caseworkers View Law Enforcement Involvement and Criminal Prosecution, and What Impact Do These Views Have on Case Processing?

NCJ Number
Date Published
Thomas L. Hafemeister, J.D.,, Shelly L. Jackson,
This study examined law enforcement and prosecution involvement in 71 cases of elder abuse.
This study examined law enforcement and prosecution involvement in 71 cases of elder abuse where pure financial exploitation (PFE), physical abuse (PA), neglect (Neglect), or hybrid financial exploitation (HFE) (financial exploitation co-occurring with physical abuse and/or neglect) occurred in a domestic setting. Victims of elder abuse and assigned Adult Protective Services (APS) caseworkers were systematically interviewed. Law enforcement officials were involved in 54 percent of the cases, and 18 percent of the cases were prosecuted. PA was significantly more likely to trigger a law enforcement response and to be prosecuted than Neglect or PFE. HFE involved prosecution for assault rather than financial exploitation. Generally, the victims of elder abuse were not receptive to criminal justice involvement, which appears to have a significant impact upon the level of this involvement. The reasons for this reluctance are discussed, as well as the challenges and limitations of criminal justice system involvement and related implications for policy and practice. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.
Date Created: May 31, 2013