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Watchdog Groups Alarmed By Numbers Of Sex Offenders And Parolees In Illinois Nursing Homes
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 25, 2005

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--One hundred registered sex offenders and 61 non-sex offending parolees are living in Illinois nursing homes alongside some of the state's most vulnerable adults.

A two-part Chicago Sun-Times investigation showed that one-half of the sex offenders are between the ages of 23 and 50 and nearly all of the parolees are under age 60. Many are being treated for long-term mental illnesses.

And while sex offender information is available to the public, information on the other former inmates is considered a violation of their right to privacy.

"The state should not be using nursing homes as a dumping ground," said Wendy Meltzer, attorney for the nursing home watchdog group Illinois Citizens for Better Care. "You get the sense that the diagnosis was 'needs a roof over head.'"

"Sex offenders who are physically mobile and therefore potentially pose a risk to other residents, to staff, to visitors or visitors' children should not be in nursing homes absent a really compelling reason . . . and a very safe plan for how everybody else will be protected from them," Meltzer said.

State officials said those that are placed in nursing homes have been thoroughly screened.

Parolees living in state nursing homes
"Sex offenders in nursing homes" (Chicago Sun-Times)
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