Illinois finds 1,000 convicted felons living in facilities

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Thanks to a new state law, Illinois has uncovered 1,000 convicted felons living in its nursing homes.

Two months ago, Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) signed a law requiring background checks of nursing home residents. Illinois is the first state to require resident background checks. Among the 1,000 felons discovered, 60 are sex offenders.

But a lack of funding has prevented the Department of Public Health from performing investigations on the 1,000 cases to determine if preventive action needs to be taken. Facilities are required to report the names of all residents who have certain felony convictions to the department, which has two weeks to decide if precautions should be taken.

Illinois has approximately 100,000 nursing residents living in 1,200 licensed facilities.