“All too often our seniors suffer physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation,” said Jackley. “The important work of the South Dakota Elder Abuse Task Force helped identify areas of concern that our Legislature has now prioritized by providing resources for the Attorney General to fight elder abuse in South Dakota. The Attorney General will use this opportunity to work with local law enforcement and other state and public entities to identify, investigate, and prosecute elder abuse cases and increase services to victims.”
The South Dakota Elder Abuse Task Force was created by the South Dakota Legislature in 2015 at the request of South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David E. Gilbertson. The Task Force considered recommendations from nationally recognized experts. The experts told the Task Force that elder financial exploitation and abuse cases are complex, urging South Dakota to utilize law enforcement and prosecutorial specialists to handle elder financial exploitation and abuse cases. The Task Force adopted the experts’ recommendations as part of the Task Force report and legislative package.
Nationwide elder abuse is on the rise with up to a million elders being abused or neglected annually. Instances of reported abuse/neglect are between 1 in 14 and 1 in 23. In the area of elder financial exploitation, only 1 in 25 is reported and it is estimated that $2.6 billion in financial exploitation occurs annually.
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Attorney General Jackley praises legislature’s commitment to fight elder abuse