124 with Arrest Warrants Found in Illinois Nursing Homes

September 22, 2010

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that investigators have identified 124 people with active arrest warrants who were residents or staff members of nursing homes for elderly residents.

Madigan said they were identified through 21 unannounced nursing home compliance checks conducted over the past nine months as part of the Operation Guardian initiative she launched in February.

“When we make the difficult decision to entrust our parents or grandparents to care in a nursing home, we do so with the reasonable expectation they will be safe and well cared for,” Madigan said. “Yet we have seen far too often that some nursing homes are instead serving as safe houses for fugitives.”

Madigan announced the results in Chicago outside the Central Nursing and Rehab, which was the scene of a compliance check Sept. 10. She said nine residents there were found to be wanted on outstanding arrest warrants. Four residents were arrested and one resident, who had been listed as a missing person, was cleared.

Madigan said the multi-agency investigation is ongoing.

“We will continue to go into nursing homes as long as this problem exists,” she said. “Our concern is that residents live in nursing homes where their care and safety are the priority.”

Madigan said earlier this month that she had taken steps to make sure nursing homes aren’t tipped off to the surprise raids aimed at increasing residents’ safety. She said her office would clamp down on leaks that could give nursing homes time to bring in more staff and spruce up living conditions before investigators arrive.

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