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Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:33pm

State Taps Nursing Homes to House Former Inmates

The state is having a hard time finding housing for former inmates with special needs, so it’s trying to tap assisted living and nursing care facilities to help out.

Officials with the Department of Corrections and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles are touring the state to spread the word they’re looking for homes for nearly 600 newly released parolees. Anita Cloud with the state board classifies them as problem residents.

"These are individuals who have broken ties with the communities, they have no place to go. And they’ve tried all their families and friends and for some reason the plan is invalid."

Cloud says the group includes the elderly, sex offenders and violent offenders, and generally those in need of medical and mental health care. So the state is trying to match their needs with services already available at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The tour is an effort to ramp up an initiative began in 2006. 28 providers are already on board. But Cloud says the state needs more, or else the parolees will have to live out their maximum sentences in prison which is costlier than finding them homes.

She notes the program should also reduce the chance they’ll return to prison for a new offense.