New Law Mandates Criminal Background Checks On Nursing Home
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 11, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS--Governor Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday signed into law a bill designed to protect nursing home residents from fellow residents convicted of sexual and violent crimes.
Under the "Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults", considered the first law of its kind in the nation, nursing homes are required to perform criminal background checks on all current and incoming residents within 60 days.
House Bill 4785 also requires public health officials to develop monitoring plans for residents who are identified as sex offenders or have been convicted of violent crimes. Sex offenders are to have private rooms. All nursing home residents are to be notified when a convict is housed in the same facility.
Supporters of the measure said that it was designed in part to identify the actual number of felons now housed in nursing facilities. Officials know that at least 70 felons convicted of violent or sex-related crimes live in nursing homes, but the actual number will not be known until after the background checks are completed.
The bill passed with overwhelming support in the Illinois Legislature earlier this spring.
Text of HB 4785 (Illinois Legislature)