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December 3, 2011

Follow U.S. Lead on Dealing withElder Abuse

Follow U.S. lead on elder abuse
Dec 01 2011

By David Sinclair, Montreal

Re: Ontario task force to tackle abuse in nursing homes, Nov. 18
Kudos to the Star for its excellent coverage of the routine abuse of some of society’s most vulnerable. As a former criminal prosecutor in the U.S., I suggest that the task force examine two aspects of California law that have proved to be particularly helpful in protecting the elderly: a comprehensive nursing facility Residents’ Bill of Rights, and California Penal Code s. 368, specifically criminalizing and punishing elder abuse.
I know that Canadians take a dim view of certain aspects of American sentencing law. But in my humble opinion, Canadian sentencing provisions do not adequately deter those who victimize the elderly population.
The Star’s reporting on this issue should outrage not only our senior citizens, but anyone who cares about social justice. It is high time that Ontario examine this issue — and high time that our ostensibly tough-on-crime federal government looks at it, as well.
David Sinclair, Montreal


SOURCE:       The Star
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