Convicted Felons as Caregivers

Disturbing flaws in Florida’s background screening system have put children, seniors and the disabled in the care of convicted felons with records that include rape, child molestation and murder, an investigation by the Sun Sentinel newspaper has found.

Employees of day care centers, assisted living facilities and group homes are required to undergo a background check under state law but can begin work before their screening is complete, the paper is reporting this week.

At least 2,400 day care workers were already on the job before their records turned up, including a Tampa man with this note in his screening record: “EVIL DUDE-RAPE+KIDNAP+SEX ASLT,” a statewide database of screenings since 1985 shows.

Even when criminal offenses are discovered, people can still work with little more than a promise not to break the law again.

Through an exemption system created by lawmakers two decades ago, Florida has cleared more than 8,700 people with criminal records to be caregivers. They include 45 murderers, 12 registered sex offenders and 200 people with histories of harming children.

Exemptions are only supposed to be granted with proof of rehabilitation. But about 1,800 of the people approved — or one in five — went on to be arrested again, some within days of the state’s determination that they could be trusted to care for vulnerable residents.

“It’s totally unacceptable. Obviously, this has become a huge loophole that needs to be closed,” said Nan Rich, D-Weston, vice chairwoman of the Florida Senate’s Children, Families and Elder Affairs committee.

A sex abuse scandal at a Miami day care in the mid 1980s prompted the first of several state laws requiring background checks for caregivers and allowing for exemptions.

Florida now has a patchwork system with glaring inconsistencies.

Full Article and Source:
Report: Faulty System Lets Felons Be Caregivers

10 Responses to “Convicted Felons as Caregivers”

  1. Thelma Says:

    This is sick! Florida is really f—-d up!

    We talk about corruption, but this is totally gross incompetence!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I'm sorry to say that I live in Florida, and it has costed me dearly. My heart has been broken by this system. My companion is having all his assets taken by a corrupt court, judge, attorney and guardian.
    Don't move to Florida!

  3. StandUp Says:

    It's not just Florida — this is happening everywhere.

    Nursing homes must be mandated to do criminal background checks before hiring.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    People need to read this and digest it. It's something to know ahead – so if you're looking at a nursing home for possible placement, you can ask the administration directly if they do background checks.

    Instead of finding out later that they don't.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Nursing home abuse goes hand in hand with guardianship abuse.

    We must protect the vulnerable. Nursing homes must be mandated to disclose any prior criminal activity of all employees.

  6. Mike Says:

    This is downright scary and yet I appreciate the information.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Oh, my God! This is what's waiting for me? Hell no, I won't go, I'd rather jump off a bridge.

  8. Daniel Kelly Says:

    The real question is, how are they doing the background checks. Some felons are just like everyone else – human, and they make mistakes. What if it was just a minor drug offense and they were addicted to something?

    I think some felons deserve a second chance at life. I'm doing an exclusive video interview with one of Chicago's more unique business' owners – Jim Andrews of Felony Franks. I'm looking for questions that people would like to ask him, a guy who only hires convicted felons. If you have any questions you'd like me to ask him – post them on my blog!

  9. wiser now Says:

    Interesting. Jim Andrews of Felony Franks has been in my local news. I have mixed feelings about this establishment and the decision to promote felons.

    Being a victim of crimes, yes, crimes in the plural, I will admit I see the world through different eyes.

    I learned the hard way, what you see in a person is what they want you to see while they are picking your pocket.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.My blog background screening

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