Unfortunately the voices of many abused and exploited seniors go unheard. Attorney General Biden changed that.
Senior citizens make wonderful contributions to our communities, and those contributions are only increasing as our senior population grows faster than the rest of the country's. Sadly, some choose to prey on and abuse seniors.
Seniors are often voiceless victims of abuse. For every one case of senior abuse that is reported, authorities believe another five cases exist but go unreported. To address this, Attorney General Biden launched a Senior Protection Initiative to raise awareness about senior abuse and he has led efforts within the Department of Justice to punish those who harm senior citizens.
For the first time, last year, law enforcement officers in Delaware received specialized training to recognize senior abuse and to work with victims to help them report the abuse and seek help. Attorney General Biden also negotiated a memorandum of understanding between his office, the State Police and Adult Protective Services that establish protocols for investing and prosecuting senior abuse cases. The new procedures are designed to prevent cases from falling through the cracks and going unresolved.
Because crimes against vulnerable Delawareans are particularly reprehensible, Attorney General Biden is worked with legislators to enact tougher punishments for those who prey on defenseless adults. Criminals victimizing someone determined to be a vulnerable adult now face increased penalties for more than 50 offenses. In most cases, charges increase by one class, such as a class A misdemeanor becoming a class G felony, a class G felony becoming a class F felony, and so on. Class A and B felonies would remain the same grade, but the minimum sentence of imprisonment required by law for the offense would be doubled.