Felons as caregivers
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.
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.
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
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.
Sacramento The writer is communication director for UDW homecare providers.