NARSOL CT affiliate speaks up, goes on record, in legislative hearing

By Dave Altimari . . . A bill that would require long-term care facilities to check if prospective residents have a criminal history or are on the sex offender registry before they are admitted drew some heated opposition Wednesday from organizations representing providers and an advocate for abolishing the sex offender registry.

The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Saud Anwar, whose district includes East Windsor, home of the Fresh River Healthcare nursing home. Last May, Miguel Lopez, a convicted rapist and a registered sex offender in Massachusetts with a warrant out for his arrest at the time, allegedly locked a female employee in his room at the nursing home and tried to force her to perform oral sex. . . .

The bill would bar long-term care facilities from admitting people with a “disqualifying offense” without a waiver. Disqualifying offenses range from assault, rape and kidnapping to burglary, criminal mischief and trespassing.

Mag Morelli, president of LeadingAge Connecticut, an association representing not-for-profit provider organizations serving older adults, told the Public Health Committee during Wednesday’s public hearing that “from an implementation perspective, this proposal raises numerous concerns.”  . . .

She suggested that the committee convene a work group to evaluate and address the concerns that led to the bill being raised rather than pass the proposal.

Others in opposition to the bill said that legislators were overreacting to an isolated incident and that the legislation as proposed would punish more people than it would help.

“The proposal is extremely overbroad and would potentially disqualify anyone, including a vulnerable or elderly person, from admission to a long-term care facility, nursing home, or an assisted living facility because they were convicted sometime in their life of certain offenses, even if such conviction occurred decades before,” said Deborah Del Prete Sullivan, legal counsel for the Office of the Chief Public Defender. . . .

At one point, Anwar and Cindy Prizio, executive director One Standard of Justice, an advocate for restorative justice practices and a critic of the sex offender registry, got into a heated argument about the bill after she called it “a public policy disaster in the making” during her testimony.

“Please don’t allow one sensational crime to turn good intentions into bad policy,” Prizio said. “We all want to protect our vulnerable populations. OSJ stands ready to provide help to the committee in developing an effective solution.”

Prizio said there’s no “need to create a new bill every time there is an isolated high-profile incident” and that the bill is unfair to a class of people who already have had their rights “sucked dry by the system.”

Read the full piece here at the Connecticut Mirror.

 

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13 Thoughts to “NARSOL CT affiliate speaks up, goes on record, in legislative hearing”

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  1. jim

    This country needs to stop punishing an entire population for 1 persons offence. This happens across the board. Not just to sex offenders but everyone now. This is a result of them being able to, and encouraged to, do this to sex offenders for decades. Now is being spread to everyone. It makes the weak people in this country glad to support a harsh law to be made up in the illusion of safety. A new law that will surely scare everyone into compliance. Then another offence happens and the law makers eagerly flock together to make another GROUND BREAKING LAW!!! To save the world. Then the new law didn’t totally eliminate that crime so they eagerly await the next crime so they again SAVE THE WORLD!!! with their next GROUND BREAKING law. They also like to give it a really touchy feely name that reflects on a horrible crime that then, drives the point home, and explodes it across the board, to punish anyone and everyone related or not to that crime. This is what happens when idle minds do the devils work. Thus the USA Government.

    1. Lisa K

      We need to hold off on passing laws like this unless there is data proving the law would benefit. 100% agree that reactionary laws need to be carefully examined. We know the registry has proven to be a horrible disaster for everyone involved and has helped no one. Why didn’t this get studied prior to passing? Fear and $ pushes legislation better than science based studies and common sense.

    2. jim

      The touchy feely names for laws that try to make the misinformed and scared feel better, that haven’t worked are, ” Adams Law” made over 1 crime. That “Law” raped the rights of hundreds of thousands people convicted of crimes that are not even close to or in the same category of that offence. Next, “Megans Law” again Raped the rights of hundreds of thousands of people not connected to that crime. Then in an attempt feel good about Megan’s law because it doesn’t work, they had to expand it to international law to hope it may eventually have an effect. The only thing Adams Law did was make John Walsh very wealthy. Wonder how much involvement John had in that crime that he was so sure to profit from it. HUMM?

    3. Tim in WI

      They live to call it “progressive policy” but there is nothing new about any of it.

  2. Screwed over

    Another case of condemn everyone for the actions of one. This Country is in the fast track to becoming what every other country considers the US of being. This country is garbage the politicians the judges the cops the whole system is so screwed up that there is no hope if recovery.

  3. William Hart

    Another knee jerk political reaction to an isolated incident. I want to thank Ms. Prizio for speaking out on the behalf of registered citizens and their families. After all, this bill would have far ranging effects on not just the registered citizen, but their families, as well as the long term health care industry.

  4. mut

    does a janitor determine what a prior conviction was for and whether or not that conviction is valid?
    will the janitor rely upon the charging document alone, resort to the reception of evidence or will the janitor simply accept a new legislative re-definition of a prior judicial judgment?
    more questions than answers.

    1. mut

      would there be a formal hearing? appointment of counsel? or just more deprivations (pains and penalties) without the safeguards of judicial process?

  5. Lorraine Hodge

    It is so good to hear someone speak up against an “unfair bill against a class of people who already have had their rights “sucked dry by the system”. Powerful, to the point and meaningful words. God Bless Cindy Prizio for speaking the words we have all felt and wanted to say.

    1. Linda V

      The man had an active warrant out for his arrest! All they would need to do is have a policy at at Long Term care facilities that no one will an active warrant out for their arrest be admitted. Run a background check and if someone has a warrant out for their arrest then call the police, no need to write a new law over it.

  6. Rob huling

    Texas does this. At 60 years old, my wife and I regularly discuss what our “plan” would be if I needed care.
    Realizing that I can not relocate from our 2 story home, realizing that I haven’t had gameful employment and live at the poverty level, realizing that our savings and retirement benefits are virtually non existent, we have concluded…. Put me in a boat and push me out to sea.

    1. Lisa K

      This is one of the saddest example of the damage our fear-based legislation has caused. When a dying soul cannot get care, what kind of society do we live in? We’ve isolated and alienated those who need us most! Your decision is heartbreaking…

    2. Miserable Offender

      Seems like the only hope we have for any of this mess to get straightened out is a nuclear war. If one happened the world would be thrown back 100 years in technology. No more internet for nosey soccer moms to check if a predator lives near by. All registry records would be incinerated with the initial blast, the resulting EMP would fry every computer. This is the only way that registry would be abolished. It would have to be physically destroyed.