Hot Topic: Nursing Homes for Sex Offenders & Violent Offenders

House looks at sex offender long-term care

3-4-15 Iowa:

A bill offered in the Iowa House last week would establish “one or more” facilities that may cause concern for residents of any community in which such a facility is operated.

House File 399 was offered Wednesday by state Rep. Helen Miller (D-Fort Dodge) and co-sponsored by 12 of her Democratic colleagues. It requires the Iowa Department of Human Services to establish at least one facility in Iowa to provide housing and care to Tier II and Tier III sex offenders in need of “medical and personal care,” but are unable to be admitted to a private facility due to their status as sex offenders.

The type of care would be typical of that provided at a residential care facility, a nursing home, or in an assisted living center. The bill would allow DHS to “use or establish a state facility” – a possible new role for the soon-to-be-shuttered mental health institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant – or contract with a private provider.

HF 399 provides for an application and verification process for DHS, as well as a process to determine payment options. Medicaid is declared to be the payor of last resort.

The Iowa Nurses Association, the Iowa School Nurses Organization, and AFSCME Iowa Council 61 all support the proposed legislation. The Iowa Department on Aging, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Office, the Iowa Council of Health Care Centers, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Iowa Medical Society, the Justice Reform Consortium, AARP of Iowa, the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Iowa Behavioral Health Association, the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Iowa Primary Care Association are all “undecided” on the bill. ..Source.. byBob Eschliman

Family of raped incapacitated woman accuses senior living facility of negligence

2-25-15 Michigan:

The family of a 69-year-old incapacitated woman raped by a male employee at a Sterling Heights assisted living center says its operators knew of one or more other sexual assaults by the man but failed to stop them.

The woman's representative recently filed a negligence lawsuit against Harbor Chase of Sterling Heights Inc., its parent company and Mazen Zuhairi in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens.

The legal action came about two weeks before Zuhairi, 22, was sentenced Feb. 18 in criminal court to two to 30 years in prison by Judge James Biernat Jr.

"If someone sexually molested your mother or grandmother, you would want to kill them," Biernat told Zuhairi. "You're lucky you live here in this time."

The victim's daughter said in court the incident has devastated the family, and physically and mentally damaged her mother "forever." Several family members attended the sentencing.

Sharkey v O'Neal

2-15-15 California:

Sharkey v O'Neal
Dennis Sharkey appeals from an order of the district court dismissing as time-barred his claims under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and various provisions of the Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district judge applied California's two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims to all of Sharkey's claims. With respect to Sharkey's claim under Title II of the ADA, we hold that the district court did not apply the correct statute of limitations.

District courts must borrow the three-year limitations period applicable to claims under California Government Code § 11135, rather than the limitations period applicable to personal injury claims in California. Under this three-year limitations period, Sharkey's ADA claim is not time-barred. With respect to his other claims, Sharkey does not contest the applicable limitations periods, but we hold that the district court abused its discretion in dismissing the complaint with prejudice without affording Sharkey leave to amend.


Sharkey is a 55–year–old man with disabilities that require him to use a wheelchair and two canes. In late 2006 and early 2007, Defendants Graham, Foster, O'Neal, and Sydney were employees at the Parole Division of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Berkeley.

In 2006, Sharkey was on parole, living independently in an accessible apartment in Oakland. On December 28, 2006, Agent Foster informed Sharkey of new parole terms, including a housing restriction imposed under the California Sexual Predator and Control Act (Prop 83) that required Sharkey to move from his Oakland residence. Agent O'Neal, who Agent Foster had assigned to Sharkey's case, gave Sharkey only an hour to relocate and only 25 minutes to pack, notwithstanding his disability. Sharkey experienced a great deal of pain during this harried move, and, due to the time pressure, left behind important medical supplies and personal possessions. Agent O'Neal forbade Sharkey from ever returning to the apartment or from calling friends to retrieve his remaining belongings.

That night, Agent O'Neal drove Sharkey to the Harris Motel and assigned him to a room that lacked the safety features necessary to accommodate his disability, such as a wheelchair-accessible entrance, sufficient floor space to operate a wheelchair, and bathroom grab bars. When Sharkey complained to Agent Foster, no attempt was made to locate a suitable residence

Little-Known Health Act Fact: Prison Inmates Are Signing Up

3-9-2014 National:

In a little-noticed outcome of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage of the expansion of Medicaid that allows states to extend coverage to single and childless adults — a major part of the prison population.

State and counties are enrolling inmates for two main reasons. Although Medicaid does not cover standard health care for inmates, it can pay for their hospital stays beyond 24 hours — meaning states can transfer millions of dollars of obligations to the federal government.

But the most important benefit of the program, corrections officials say, is that inmates who are enrolled in Medicaid while in jail or prison can have coverage after they get out. People coming out of jail or prison have disproportionately high rates of chronic diseases, especially mental illness and addictive disorders. Few, however, have insurance, and many would qualify for Medicaid under the income test for the program — 138 percent of the poverty line — in the 25 states that have elected to expand their programs.

Health care experts estimate that up to 35 percent of those newly eligible for Medicaid under Mr. Obama’s health care law are people with histories of criminal justice system involvement, including jail and prison inmates and those on parole or probation.

“For those newly covered, it will open up treatment doors for them” and potentially save money in the long run by reducing recidivism, said Dr. Fred Osher, director of health systems and services policy for the Council of State Governments Justice Center.