In a recent blog on nursing home injury, our Maryland-based attorneys discussed the problem many nursing homes are facing today, of creating a safe environment for residents who live in nursing home facilities with patients who are mentally ill or have violent criminal pasts.
After the Chicago Tribune’s investigative reports over the past few months, fueled by a series of nursing home abuse and assault cases, the publication has shed light on the high numbers of felons and sex offenders that reside in Illinois nursing homes, and how this is affecting the safety of nursing home residents. Last week, twenty federal marshals and the County Cook sheriff’s police, initiated by the Illinois Attorney General’s office, conducted a raid of two Chicago-based homes, looking for felons with outstanding arrest warrants.
After the sweep of the nursing homes, eighteen residents were discovered in the homes who are wanted on charges that vary from burglary and assault to disorderly conduct. The authorities arrested five people, including an unregistered sex offender from another state. According to the Attorney General’s office, this was the first step in an ongoing effort to identify residents in nursing homes who are wanted on arrest warrants.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the number of residents living in Illinois nursing homes who are felons has grown as the state continues to rely on the nursing home facilities to place younger psychiatric patients, many of whom have criminal records, which can endanger resident safety and cause nursing home injury or abuse to older residents.
Nursing home facilities are supposed to use careful risk assessments and monitoring before placing patients with criminal records in nursing homes. The Tribune reports that the criminal background checks and risk assessments that were carried out on many of the state nursing home residents were filled with errors and omissions—masking the risk that many of these offenders could have when housed with vulnerable elderly or disabled residents.
If a Maryland nursing home resident becomes injured or dies because the nursing home neglected to protect the health and safety of the resident, the nursing home could be held liable for Maryland nursing home negligence or wrongful death. Our attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers represent victims and their families who wish to recover personal injury compensation from nursing home negligence and harm. Contact us today.
Nursing Home Sweeps Find 18 Residents with Outstanding Warrants, Chicago Tribune, December 23, 3009
Related Web Resources:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA): National Mental Health Information Center
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (CMS): Nursing Home Quality Initiative, (NHQI)