February 6, 2013

House panel OKs bill setting guidelines for placing sex offenders in nursing homes

2-6-2013 Iowa:

A bill issuing state guidelines for the placement of sex offenders in nursing homes cleared an Iowa House subcommittee on Wednesday and was sent to the House Human Resources Committee.

Rep. Joel Fry, R-Osceola, who chaired the subcommittee, said House File 53 will begin the process of finding beds for sex offenders in case they can’t be housed or shouldn’t be housed in certain facilities. The legislation also proposes a long-term study of how Iowa will care for sex offenders with appropriate medical care and security care while respecting their rights, he said.

The bill is being closely watched by Iowa’s nursing home industry, groups representing older Iowans, the Iowa Department of Human Services and Iowa Department of Corrections, justice reform activists, and others. Similar legislation was approved by the Iowa House last year, but died in the Iowa Senate. A report by the Des Moines Register in December 2011 found that at least 42 convicted sex offenders were residing in 21 Iowa homes for the elderly and disabled. ..Source.. by William Petroski

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