About the Abuse Investigation Unit
The Abuse Investigation Unit of Equip for Equality is serving as a multi-year national demonstration project to access the unique contribution an independent, non-governmental state Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System can make to enhance the performance of state investigatory systems and the safety of individuals with disabilities receiving publicly-supported services. Congress provided two direct appropriations to Equip for Equality for this purpose.
The Investigation Unit works in collaboration with public investigatory entities to enhance their performance and coordination with each other, conducts direct investigations when warranted, identifies abuse and neglect trends and patterns, alerts service providers about dangerous conditions, and promotes best practices. The Unit also shares its findings and recommendations with state agencies, and the public.
The Investigation Unit has broad federal and state statutory authority to review investigative reports and other documents prepared by state agencies and private facilities and to enter private and public facilities on an unannounced basis in order to conduct direct investigations, review records and observe conditions first-hand. The Investigation Unit brings its concerns to the attention of the proper state and federal authorities.
Professionals with clinical, investigative, and legal backgrounds staff the Unit. An advisory council comprised of the state inspector generals for abuse and neglect and other key investigatory entities provide assistance to the Unit. In addition, the Unit utilizes independent physicians and health care professionals when needed.
At the end of the project, Equip for Equality will prepare a report to Congress (which will also be shared with the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor) on the accomplishments of the Unit, as well as the cost of operating such a function within a state P&A System, that will enable Congress to determine whether additional authority or resources are needed to enhance the Systems to address issues of abuse, neglect, and deaths in their states more effectively.
Abuse Investigation Unit
20 N. Michigan, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 341-0022 Se Habla Espaņol ASL
(800) 610-2779 (TTY)
(312) 341-0295 (Fax)