More than a quarter of nursing homes surveyed in Ohio are "unsure" whether a previously convicted sex offender, or someone with a violent criminal background, resided within their facility, according to a report published by Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center. Of the facilities surveyed, 7 percent indicate they had housed at least one resident with a sex offender or violent criminal background.
The report, “Criminal Offenders in Ohio Nursing Homes: Facility Practices, Prevalence, and Problems,” provides a preliminary look at previous offenders in Ohio nursing homes and related facility practices. The report’s authors note in recent years, occasional violent incidents in nursing homes have given rise to legislation in 15 states, including Ohio.
All Ohio nursing facilities were surveyed as part of the 2009 Biennial Survey of Long Term Care Facilities. The survey, conducted in 2010, revealed several key findings.
About one-quarter (23 percent) of responding facilities include specific questions on admission forms about criminal convictions of prospective residents, with most facilities relying heavily on families and law enforcement for criminal background information.
Previous criminal convictions trigger additional admission procedures in over half of the nursing homes surveyed, with over three-quarters of nursing homes (78 percent) reporting they would deny admission of prospective residents with a high risk of aggression. In addition, facilities are least likely to admit sex offenders on parole (20 percent) and most likely (60 percent) to admit previously convicted felons who had completed their sentences.
Written by current gerontology doctoral candidate Pamela Brown and Jane Straker, senior research scholar at Scripps and adjunct associate professor of gerontology and sociology, the report also contains statistical findings related to facility admission practices and incident related problems in facilities.
The work was supported by the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project. The full report is available online.