Like it or not, many of us will rely on skilled nursing facilities– commonly known as nursing homes– to provide us with the medical care that we may not be able to provide for ourselves at some point in our lives. Similarly, there is a sizable group of convicted felons who will require similar care for their needs. So where will they go?
In most jurisdictions, the answer is quite vague and generally simply ill-addressed as most states have not squarely addressed the issue. The result of this delay and denial is that many convicted felons— even those with particularly repulsive backgrounds— may be living side-by-side with your family member.
While it may be perfectly legal for nursing homes to admit people with criminal backgrounds— including sex offenders, facilities still have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all residents and visitors. Given that most states require sexual offenders to register their location with the state, most nursing homes can easily do a search to determine if their patient is on such list.
As a lawyer who has represented people whom have been sexually abused by other residents and staff at nursing home with criminal records, I find these acts both disgusting and indicative of a culture of corporate greed that seeks to maintain maximum occupancy rates and paying staff the lowest wages possible. Sadly, I think many nursing homes continue to skirt by by doing as little as they are required to do under the law. Hopefully, victims of such horrendous incidents will come forward and demand safety changes that are direly needed.
Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries: