California Attorney General to Ramp Up Elder Abuse Prosecutions Against Nursing Homes
Representatives of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris have
said the state will begin aggressively building more criminal cases statewide.
Harris' office is forming three specialized teams –one in Sacramento, two in
Southern California– to pursue criminal charges against nursing home
administrators and employees where deep, systemic problems are suspected.
"Elder abuse is a particularly tragic crime because it
targets a beloved population –our aunts and uncles, our parents– at what can be
a vulnerable time in their lives," said Harris in a prepared statement,
referring to these crimes as ‘serious and often hidden.’ “We know abuse of our
elders is becoming more pervasive, so we must become more resolute in our
protection of them,” said Harris. In California and elsewhere, criminal
prosecutions of nursing home workers or their employers have been rare, with
allegations of abuse or neglect frequently handled in the civil courts. Harris'
move could potentially reverse a steady decline in recent years in the state's
criminal actions involving elder abuse. In the past decade, criminal elder abuse
complaints filed by California's attorney general dropped from 112 in fiscal
2002-2003 to 60 in 2011-2012, state figures show.
Source/more: Sacramento BeeTags: elder abuse, nursing homes