Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nevada Legislators Debate Elder Abuse: Since 90 percent of Elder Abuse is Committed in Homes by Family Members.


CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The Nevada Senate Judiciary committee voted Monday for a bill to let the state's elder abuse investigators get criminal histories of suspects from police agencies.

Division of Aging Services administrator Carol Sala said the change was necessary because some of her 12 her investigators, who are licensed clinical social workers, have been exposed to dangerous situations, and even threatened by family members.

Since 90 percent of elder abuse is committed in homes by family members, social workers sometimes must go to homes where they could confront suspects with histories of drug use or domestic violence. Often, elder abusers have problems with gambling or drug addiction, said Sala.

In those situations, she added, her division should be allowed to access criminal records to know whether or not to ask for law enforcement escorts.

The proposal, SB31, would add the Division of Aging Services to a list of government agencies authorized to get criminal records, including child welfare agencies, the Gaming Control Board, and the state Board of Nursing.

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