States look for solutions to growing number of aging sex offenders

Updated Feb 08, 2017
Springfield Manor Nursing Home on McCreight Avenue is home to at least one registered sex offender. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

As states like Ohio deal with a growing number of aging registered sex offenders, another state is examining what to do with elderly sex offenders when they are in need of nursing home care.

In Iowa, lawmakers are studying whether to establish a separate facility for sex offenders to keep them away from other nursing home residents.

A Dayton Daily News examination found numerous examples of lax oversight of sex offenders in nursing homes in Ohio.

RELATED:Lax rules, missing information put Ohio nursing home residents at risk

This newspaper’s investigation found 136 sex offenders were living in 43 nursing homes in Ohio in October. It also identified potential problems with the safety net, from under-staffing at homes with offenders to a lack of information on the public registry used by facilities to make admission decisions.

The Iowa Senate Human Resources Committee this week approved a resolution which asks the state’s legislature to create a committee to study the establishment of a facility to care specifically for those who are sex offenders or are sexually aggressive.

RELATEDConvicted rapist says his care hurt by his offender status

Iowa, like Ohio, has no dedicated facility for housing sex offenders in need of long-term care.

“Thelackofsuchafacilityplacesothergeriatricpatients,residents,andtenantsatriskforbeingsexuallyabused,” the Iowa resolution says.

The proposal suggests studying either establishing a new facility, or expanding an existing one to keep sex offenders or sexually aggressive individuals separate from the general nursing home population.

A report would be due by Jan. 1, 2018.

Several Ohio lawmakers said the issues raised in the Daily News’ investigation were in need of further study. The Criminal Justice Recodification Committee has made recommendations to update Ohio’s sex offender laws, including giving judges more discretion to release individuals from registration requirements if they no longer pose a risk.

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