Felons as care­givers

Los Angeles Times - - Opinion -

Re “Many felons work as state care­givers, “ Sept. 24, and “Gov. sees ‘cri­sis’ in care­giver pro­gram,” Sept. 25

Felons work­ing as state care­givers or in any other job is a pos­i­tive sit­u­a­tion in our econ­omy.

The laws of Cal­i­for­nia and most other states make it dif­fi­cult if not im­pos­si­ble for a per­son who has been in prison to find a means to sup­port him­self af­ter re­lease. The re­sult is a re­cidi­vism rate two to three times greater than that of other mod­ern coun­tries, most of which help felons find jobs af­ter they’ve been re­leased.

Our pol­icy on that sub­ject does not cre­ate greater safety for us; it makes our en­vi­ron­ment less safe be­cause the per­son un­able to find a job fre­quently re­turns to crim­i­nal prac­tices to make a liv­ing. Nu­mer­ous stud­ies sup­port this con­clu­sion.

It must be ad­mit­ted that there is the pos­si­bil­ity of for­mer felons abus­ing or de­fraud­ing those they care for or per­form other work for, but our poli­cies mul­ti­ply that pos­si­bil­ity rather than re­duce it.

Bruce Boyd

Val­ley Glen

I am ap­palled that an em­ployee union ap­par­ently re­fuses to block crim­i­nals in our home health­care pro­gram from work­ing with el­derly/sick peo­ple.

I am also an­gry that our Leg­is­la­ture is so weak that it can’t put in place stan­dards to pro­tect peo­ple.

The weak­est and most vul­ner­a­ble here are not given the slight­est con­cern, in ex­change for more union power/dues and do­na­tions to Demo­cratic leg­is­la­tors.

Christina Ja­cobs

Long Beach

The per­pe­tra­tors high­lighted here can­not con­tinue work­ing in this pro­fes­sion.

These peo­ple broke faith with so­ci­ety, and al­though they have “paid” their price, it is in­con­ceiv­able to think a jail term re­quires so­ci­ety to have faith in them again.

Ev­ery cit­i­zen should con­tact his or her Assem­bly or state Se­nate rep­re­sen­ta­tive and de­mand that they re­strict these peo­ple from work­ing in the care­giver field.

In the mean­time, ev­ery fam­ily with mem­bers re­ceiv­ing this kind of care should go on­line and ask that the care­giver — if found to have a crim­i­nal record — be re­moved.

Alan L. Strzemieczny

River­side

Given Gov. Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger’s track record, this lat­est pro­nounce­ment of a “pub­lic safety cri­sis” should be met with ex­treme skep­ti­cism.

Un­der cur­rent law, In Home Sup­port­ive Ser­vices con­sumers can ob­tain in­for­ma­tion on the crim­i­nal back­ground his­tory of their providers or prospec­tive providers. But Sch­warzeneg­ger has failed to pro­vide needed reg­u­la­tions to guide the coun­ties in im­ple­ment­ing this.

If the gover­nor is so in­ter­ested in pro­tect­ing el­derly and dis­abled con­sumers, why has he cut fund­ing for Adult Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices and for the so­cial work­ers that ad­min­is­ter IHSS?

Sch­warzeneg­ger is us­ing this crime scare tac­tic as an ex­cuse to cut the pro­gram, not to pro­tect con­sumers.

Steve Mehlman

Sacra­mento The writer is com­mu­ni­ca­tion di­rec­tor for UDW home­care providers.

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