Implementation of Training Curricula
Understanding that training increases the likelihood that crimes committed against persons with disabilities will be recognized, reported, investigated, and prosecuted successfully, team members have overseen the development and implementation of cross-discipline training criteria for local and state police, adult protective services investigators, prosecutors, victim/witness advocates, medical personnel, persons with disabilities, service providers, and the judiciarykey factors in Massachusetts BPI's success.
BPI offers the following cross-training curricula to team members:
- Adult protective services training: A 40-hour basic criminal investigation training and a 40-hour sexual assault training (the same as mandated for law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth), which is conducted by state police.
- New recruit training: A full-day training for every municipal police recruit on his or her role, and that of adult protective services, in recognizing, reporting, and investigating crimes against victims with disabilities.
- State police long-distance learning: Mandatory online training for state police officers through the Massachusetts State Police online training academy that also is accessible to municipal police officers and adult protective services investigators.
- Service provider training: A 1-day train-the-trainer program that incorporates multimedia elements to educate professionals who provide services to persons with disabilities on recognizing, reporting, and responding to violence committed against persons with disabilities. Recognizing the lack of resources available to service provider agencies, BPI offers this training to satisfy mandated service provider training requirements. Attendees receive the Protect, Report, Preserve: Abuse Against Persons with Disabilities video and its accompanying manual, both of which are also distributed to individuals throughout the Commonwealth who provide services to persons with disabilities.
- Court personnel guide: BPI, in partnership with Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, developed and distributed a practical guide for court personnel on the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of crimes committed against persons with disabilities. The guide, which was distributed to all courts in the Commonwealth, educates court personnel on issues unique to cases involving persons with disabilities.
- Persons with disabilities training: A training curriculum and video were created to educate persons with disabilities on recognizing, reporting, and responding to abuse. Through funding provided by OVC, BPI partnered with Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong and persons with disabilities to develop the training materials. The curriculum, entitled Awareness and ActionEducating Persons with Disabilities to Recognize, Report and Respond to Abuse, comprises a PowerPoint presentation, video clips, video story, written curriculum, trainer guide, and participant workbook. The 3-hour interactive training is taught by persons with disabilities and others. In addition, with Byrne JAG funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, an interactive educational tool was developed to complement the Awareness and Action training curriculum. Incorporating color-coded cards and images, the tool is used by trainers with disabilities to elicit discussion from persons with disabilities on types of abuse and to teach them how to recognize, report, and respond to abuse and neglect. It is intended for audiences of no more than five people.