Before I share the link to the study, I want to recognize the author, Stephanie Jerstad, who chose this topic for her graduate Dissertation in pursuit of her Doctor of Philosophy degree.
The abstract is “a multi-pronged approach to examine the willingness of long-term care facilities (LTCF) to admit persons on the sex offender registry or with a sexual offense conviction.” which is a topic FAC has been struggling with for years (see: https://floridaactioncommittee.org/need-alfskilled-nursing-facilities-taking-registrants-in-florida/) and which the media has even given some attention to (see: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/florida/articles/2019-05-02/housing-elderly-sex-offenders) but clearly not enough.
The aging and ill population of registrants is extremely vulnerable and is a group that unfortunately does not have time to wait for solutions. As we know from one of our recent weekly updates (see: https://floridaactioncommittee.org/weekly-update-2022-07-12-ref217/) people are dying unnecessarily because of this crisis. This study recognizes that restrictions on access to Long Term Care Facilities is another punitive collateral consequence of registration.
While the study only analyzes the problem within the State of Illinois, we know that Florida, which has the highest percentage of it’s population over the age of 65 (19.36% vs. 14.6% in IL) and far more draconian residency restrictions, has it so much worse!
Here are some points made about Florida, “Of the thirteen states that have LTC/SO statutes, only Florida and Oklahoma include language that LTCFs must increase supervision or segregate them from the rest of the residents in the facility. As we know, one reason sex offender policies were enacted is to monitor persons convicted of a sex offense, sometimes, for life and in this case, it appears to be no different. The idea of having a designated room placement parallels with some state’s sex offender policies of lifetime supervision (i.e., lifetime parole, GPS monitoring for life) for these individuals.
Of notable mention is the Dedication page of the dissertation, which begins, “[t]his dissertation is dedicated to my former client, a registered sex offender, who died waiting to find a long-term care facility in Illinois that would accept him. You are the inspiration for this study.”
It’s very heartwarming to know that there are some (albeit very few) people who have empathy for this crisis and are willing to do something about it. We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Jerstad and hope she will accept our invitation to become a guest on an upcoming member call.
The study is below: It is shared with Permission from Stephanie Jerstad for the sole purpose of educating our members and the public about this problem and in furtherance of more research towards a solution. Please note this is a copyrighted work with all rights reserved belonging to Stephanie Jerstad.