Ailing Inmates To Get Nursing Home Treatment
The Ohio prison officials are taking recourse to nursing homes to treat inmates who are found terminally ill or medically incapacitated.
The Assistant Director, Department of Rehabilitation (Ohio), Mr. Randle expressed that about twenty to forty prisoners will be taken to the nursing home. He also said that if those prisoners are released on parole, they will become qualified for medical benefits like Medicare and Medicaid. He considered these inmates as among the most expensive inmates that the prisons have with them.
On the other hand, the chief of an owners' group of nursing home Mr. Peter Van Runkle expressed concern about public safety and the way public would perceive this act. He suggested that inmates need to be evaluated and screened about their past acts and what could they possibly are capable of doing in future before they are taken to the nursing homes.
In his reply to the apprehension expressed by Mr Runkle, Mr. Randle assured that they handle these kinds of matters always with care. Mr Randle reassured that patients and their family members do not need to be worried, as most of the prisoners will remain sick-abed because of their severe sickness. These prisoners need a whole day of nursing along with complete nursing care. These severely ill patients due to their medical condition do not have enough capability to commit a crime.
A law has already passed (House Bill 130) that gives prison functionaries the permission to submit the special cases of prisoners who fit the required medical criteria for attaining early parole to the Ohio Parole Board to get early parole. The board recommendation is also necessary in this regard.
The law includes a number of exclusions like inmates who are under death sentence, inmates who have been judged for aggravated murder, and those inmates who are serving sentences for first and second degree felony.
The inmates who could take recourse to the nursing home facilities include the non-violent offenders that are serving the sentences due to third, fourth and fifth degree felonies as well as those sentenced for misdemeanours. If the inmate after getting necessary treatment at a nursing home recovers, he or she can come back to the prison. Randle also confirms that a physician will frequently test the physical conditions of the captives.
The maintenance of prison population is resulting in financial stress. According to one statistical report on prisoners, it transpired the fact that the mean age of all the inmates is thirty five. Out of them, one third crossed the age 40 and the rest of the prisoners crossed their 60s.
Randle also declared that an appreciable number of nursing-home operators across the state have assented about their interest in the parole plan. The sentencing judge, prosecutor as well as victims of crime would be contacted before a prisoner would be considered for release. The parole board would conduct a public hearing if an opposition is raised.