The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) continually strives to protect the safety, health, and rights of persons with intellectual disabilities. To support this effort, the Division of Investigations (DOI) was created in August 1997 to ensure that allegations of abuse and neglect of individuals receiving DDS funded services are investigated in a thorough, timely, and impartial manner by professional investigators. The DOI reports directly to the Commissioner and not to any other entity within the DDS. In May 2000, DDS established a unique relationship with the Connecticut State Police wherein a ranking State Police Officer was assigned to oversee the DOI. In November 2013, the Connecticut State Police terminated this arrangement with DDS due to agency staffing needs. DDS then established a managerial Director of Investigations position within the Department. The DDS Director of Investigations currently oversees the day to day operations of the DOI.
The DOI is composed of a total of fifteen professional investigators, including three Nurse Investigators, assigned geographically to the DDS Regions and to the DDS Central Office. The DOI investigators conduct complex investigations pertaining to allegations of abuse and neglect of individuals within DDS facilities, Community Companion Homes, private hire arrangements, and Qualified Provider Agencies (DDS funded private providers). In addition to conducting investigations, the Nurse Investigators perform an evaluation of each death of a DDS individual to determine if further investigation or actions are warranted given the circumstances leading up to the individual’s death. Pool Investigators from the Qualified Provider Agencies and the DDS, who have been trained to conduct investigations by DOI staff, also conduct abuse/neglect investigations. These investigations are monitored by the DOI and the State Office of Protection and Advocacy to ensure the investigations are completed in a comprehensive and timely manner.
The DOI works closely with the DDS regional management, the State Office of Protection and Advocacy, the Statewide Independent Mortality Review Board, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Municipal and State Law Enforcement, and other State agencies to ensure that quality investigations are completed and essential services are provided to individuals of the DDS.