Seven Minnesota sex offenders are living in private nursing homes, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The offenders’ average age is 75, and all have serious medical problems that require nursing care, said Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian. State legislative committees had requested an accounting of how many offenders the department has placed in nursing homes. In May, Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch sued Concordia Care Center of Minneapolis, alleging that it didn’t adequately supervise six sex offenders housed in a locked ward with other vulnerable adults. Some offenders were accused of inappropriate sexual contact with two female residents. More than 15,000 registered sex offenders live in Minnesota. State officials supervise only about 25 percent of them because they are in prison, on probation, or on supervised release.
The issue pits offenders’ rights against the safety concerns of nursing home residents and employees, as well as their families. Nursing may not know when they are housing a sex offender who is under government supervision. Patti Cullen, a vice president with Care Providers of Minnesota, said that probation officials notify nursing homes whenever they place an offender: “The facility should know about it, especially if they are supposed to be doing some kind of security or assure that some probationary conditions are followed.”