Hosts 300 Older Adults at the Inaugural Older Adults Justice Luncheon
(Baltimore, MD - September 26, 2023) - Today, State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates announced the launch of a new Older and Disabled Person's Unit (ODPU) within the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City (SAO), which will provide services related to elder neglect, financial exploitation, and physical abuse at the Inaugural Older Adults Justice Luncheon for residents age 60 and over. Recognizing the needs and circumstances older adults and persons with disabilities that are often preyed upon face, the SAO is committed to ensuring equal access to justice and services for our most vulnerable population. The ODPU will operate within the Economic Crimes Unit of the office.
"As State’s Attorney, I am proud to announce the launch of our Older and Disabled Person's Unit. In this diverse and vibrant city, we recognize the importance of protecting our older and disabled residents. The ODPU is not just a unit or a campaign promise fulfilled,” said State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates. “It's a pledge going forward to prioritize and focus on combatting elder neglect, financial exploitation, and physical abuse. The Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City is dedicated to ensuring these vulnerable populations can age in place with dignity, respect, and safety. Together, we will be their voice, their shield, and their advocate. Baltimore's strength lies in our unity, and with the ODPU, we are reaffirming our commitment to justice and protection for all."
The SAO will continue to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against persons who are 60 years of age or older, including but not limited to financial exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and caregiver neglect. This unit will consist of a team of attorneys, investigators, case managers, and support staff to take a holistic approach to protecting our older adults and disabled persons.
As a victim of a crime, pursuing justice while recovering from traumatic loss takes great courage. The ODPU team will utilize a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) model, a network of organizations and local agencies to address every need of our victims. The office will strive to provide versatile resources, from a one-stop helpline (844.726.6378) and a dedicated email address (email@example.com) to transportation services for victims to meet with SAO staff and partners discretely. Effective prosecution requires partnerships and team efforts among all agencies. The SAO seeks to work collaboratively to ensure the best outcome in each case, even when the matter may not necessarily present a criminal cause of action.
"It is with immense gratitude that I accept the Older Adult Champion Award. Throughout my years as Council President and later as Mayor of Baltimore, I witnessed firsthand the invaluable contributions of our older adult population. Their wisdom, resilience, and commitment to our great city have always inspired me," said Former Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young. "It has been an honor to serve and support our older adults, and this recognition humbles me. Our older adults are not just the keepers of our history; they are the architects of our future. Together, we can ensure that every golden year is filled with the respect, care, and opportunities they deserve. I sincerely thank State’s Attorney Bates for this incredible honor, and let us continue to champion the well-being of our older adults for generations to come."
The Annual Older Adult Justice Luncheon will serve as an opportunity to gather our most seasoned residents and hear their needs and concerns directly from them. The luncheon will also allow the SAO to highlight and honor an advocate and torchbearer of the older adult community in Baltimore. The Inaugural Older Adult Champion Award was presented to Former Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, for his years of tireless and dedicated service to the older adult community. Going forward, the award will be named the Jack Young Older Adult Champion Award.