Sixty-one criminals on parole from the Illinois prison system are living in 37 nursing homes alongside vulnerable people who have virtually no way of knowing they’re there, says the Chicago Sun-Times. Unlike sex offenders — whose names and addresses are disclosed in an online registry — the Illinois Department of Corrections doesn’t publicize identities of paroled murderers, burglars, and other criminals living in long-term care facilities. Releasing such details “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” a corrections official said.
That’s a double standard, patient advocates say, arguing that parolees are capable of hurting those they live with regardless of whether they’re sex criminals. Studies have shown that recidivism rates for sex offenders are lower than for the general criminal population. State officials insist they’re keeping close tabs on the parolees. Parole officers regularly visit the ex-cons, and the state’s health department is made aware of parolees’ presence so inspectors know to ask about them during site visits. Young parolees are living under the same roof as elderly residents in nursing homes.