CALL TO ACTION: Reach out to members of the CT Public Health and Human Services Committees to tell them that every person, even those living with a criminal record or registry requirements, deserves equal access to nursing homes and other long-term care.
Ask members of these committees and your own legislators, to OPPOSE the following proposals:
- Raised Bill 254 in the Public Health Committee: AN ACT REQUIRING LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY RESIDENTS TO UNDERGO A CRIMINAL HISTORY AND SEXUAL OFFENDER REGISTRY SEARCH.
- Raised Bill 5335 in the Human Services Committee: AN ACT REQUIRING LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES TO CONDUCT SEX OFFENDER BACKGROUND CHECKS ON STAFF AND RESIDENTS.
BACKGROUND: In response to an outlier incident that occurred in a nursing facility this summer, there is an active effort in Connecticut to require potential nursing home residents to undergo background & registry checks that will have the effect of excluding people from long-term care based on their criminal records. Urgent action must be taken in the next few days to keep these harmful proposals from being voted out of committee.
What you can do:
- Find your CT legislator here: CT General Assembly Legislator Search
Make your voice heard on SB 524:
- Submit Written Testimony to the Public Health Committee via email: [email protected]
- Register to testify via zoom for Public Hearing on SB254 that will be held 3/9: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wEJda0VnTr2taMlG0aO4KA
- Call the Public Health Committee to make your position known: (860) 240‑0560
Make your voice heard on HB 5335:
- Submit Written Testimony to the Human Services Committee via email: [email protected]
- Register to testify via zoom for the Public Hearing on HB 5335 that will be held 3/10: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_65NcYXbyT5mh24NMOv5pog
- Call the Human Services Committee at (860) 240‑0492 to make your position known.
Remember, your written submission does not have to be fancy as long as you say who you are and why you oppose the bill. You may use the talking points below as a guide.
Address your testimony to the leadership of each committee:
Public Health: Senator Abrams, Representative Steinberg, Senators Hwan and Somers, and distinguished Members of the Public Health Committee.
Human Services: Senator Moore, Representative Abercrombie, Senator Berthel, Representative Case and distinguished members of the Human Services Committee
- Appearance on a conviction registry is not synonymous with risk, 95% of people on the registry do not reoffend.
- Lawmakers should not be pushing for blanket laws or Department of Public Health policies that do not deal with people based on their individual health needs, as the potential harm to people who pose no risk is great and the collateral consequences ripple out to entire communities, particularly when an older loved one is in need of assistance at end-of-life.
- Admissions should be evaluated by current behavior, treatment options and care needs, rather than utilizing a past conviction record as a measuring stick for current dangerousness. Allowing a presumption of dangerousness based on registration status or a past criminal conviction is not evidence-based and places a huge burden on potential residents, caregivers and families.
- Because our criminal legal system disproportionately impacts people based on race, disability, sexual orientation, class and more; it is people who have already been marginalized and over-criminalized who will suffer under hastily-enacted laws.
- With current state and federal law, people remain on the sex offense registry long after they have served their sentences, with no mechanism to be removed. These proposals do nothing to improve the safety of nursing homes and serve as another way to punish people who have already paid their debts to society.
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