Hot Topic: Nursing Homes for Sex Offenders & Violent Offenders
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Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009–2013 - Statistical Tables

5-21-15 Washington DC:

Presents estimates of nonfatal violent victimization (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault) against persons age 12 or older with disabilities from 2009 to 2013. Tables compare the victimization of persons with and without disabilities living in noninstitutionalized households, including distributions by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, victims' types of disabilities, and other victim characteristics.

Tables also include information on victim–offender relationship, time of crime, reporting to police, and use of victim service agencies. Findings are based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), and data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) were used to generate victimization rates. ..Source.. by Erika Harrell, Ph.D

The challenges of hiring or housing registered sex offenders

June 2013 National:

The number of registered sex offenders (RSOs) is increasing as states continue to expand the definition of crimes that require such registration. Furthermore, this population is aging and in need of care in long-term care (LTC) or rehabilitation facilities. Many states have laws concerning admission or management of RSOs in LTC facilities and other states, such as Iowa and South Carolina, are contemplating regulations.

However, many states do not have any specific guidance on admission or discharge of RSOs. For operators with multistate facilities, the laws can differ significantly. This is a difficult issue with legal, ethical, and operational dimensions. However, this issue is not limited to RSOs who are or may become residents.

Facilities also must be mindful of employees, volunteers, and contractors who may have access to residents. They, too, could be registered sex offenders. The industry needs to be prepared to manage the challenges and risks that these individuals may pose to a facility and its residents and staff.

A 2006 report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate the prevalence of sex offenders living in LTC facilities found about 700 registered sex offenders living in nursing homes or intermediate care facilities for people with mental retardation. A significant number of registered sex offenders were male and younger than 65 and represented .05 percent of the approximately 1.5 million residents of nursing homes and intermediate care facilities.

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A Massachusetts law prohibits a level 3 sex offender from knowingly and willingly establishing residency in a nursing home or similar facility. There is a potential for jail, as well as monetary fines, this provision is violated. In 2011, a challenge was brought against this law by a 65-year-old Level 3 RSO who was mugged, hospitalized, and sent to a nursing home to recuperate. He then moved to another home where the Boston police told him he could not remain because of his Level 3 status He sued challenging the constitutionality of the law. The court agreed that the statute violated his due process rights because there was no individualized assessment that the public safety risks of him leaving the home outweighed the public safety concerns of him residing in the home.

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There are different methods providers can use to obtain information about a potential resident and whether he or she is a registered sex offender. LTC facilities can conduct background checks of all prospective residents after seeking legal authorization to run these checks from the resident or his or her legal representative.

However, the costs associated with conducting these checks could be significant, create room for error if not done properly, and also take several days or more to complete which is an issue where quick admissions are the norm. A facility may decide to make passage of a successful background check a part of its admissions agreement. If negative information is received, then seek to discharge the resident or void the admissions agreement. However, this can be complicated by regulatory agencies who more often than not will intervene on behalf of the resident and will make such a discharge or transfer difficult or legally risky.

Some facilities in an effort to save money and to better leverage their internal resources may rely on staff members to conduct background checks or searches on prospective residents. These searches may violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) if the facility has not secured authorization from the resident or their legal representative to conduct the search. (This is one reason why, RSOs need to know, where their information came from; rights may have been violated.)

Balancing Act: Privacy Rights of Convicted Sex Offenders and HIPAA


In 2006, the Government Accountability Office ("GAO") issued a report concerning the prevalence of registered sex offenders living in long-term care facilities. While each state has adopted its own approach to sex offender notification and identification, long-term care facilities are in a unique position and face complex questions when a resident has been identified as a convicted sex offender.

Such questions include whether a facility can disseminate information about an offender's convictions to staff members or other residents, or whether disclosing this information violates the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Ensuring the confidentiality of protected health information ("PHI") and averting serious consequences that could result from indiscriminate disclosure of such information while protecting the safety of all residents are among the most challenging issues confronting health care providers today.

PHI is defined as "individually identifiable health information ("IIHI") that is (1) transmitted by electronic media; (2) maintained in any medium described in the definition of electronic media; or (3) transmitted or maintained in any other form or medium." 45 CFR § 160.103. ..Continued.. by Patricia A. Markus and Erin E. Jochum of a Law Firm

How Iowa case could change elders' sex rights

4-24-15 Iowa:

Iowa — A 78-year-old Iowa man's sex-abuse trial should prompt serious discussions about addressing the sexual needs of the elderly while preventing those most vulnerable from abuse, state and national experts said.

"You've got all this attention on this — so now is the time to make changes," said Gayle Doll, director of the Center on Aging at Kansas State University.

A jury on Wednesday acquitted Henry Rayhons, a retired farmer former state legislator, of sexual abuse for allegedly having sex with his wife after staff members at her nursing home in Garner, Iowa, warned him her Alzheimer's disease had left her unable to consent. He denied any wrongdoing. The unusual trial drew extensive national media coverage and debate.

Doll said the case highlights the need for care centers to set clear, specific policies on the subject, and to talk in detail with families about the issue.

Too many adult children still don't want to admit that their elderly parents have sexual desires and needs, even if short-term memory and other brain functions deteriorate, Doll said.