California County Plans Assisted Living Prosecution Unit

A California county is preparing to crack down on assisted living communities that don’t maintain certain care standards. 

A special prosecution unit may be developed for San Diego County, Supervisor Dianne Jacob announced during a “State of the County” address last week. 

Jacob called for bolstering the county’s role in monitoring the local assisted living industry, U-T San Diego reports, with plans to create a team of prosecutors and investigators that will hold assisted living communities accountable for non-adherence to state laws and standards. 

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“This team would put more muscle and public visibility into our efforts to watchdog these facilities,” Jacob said during the address. “We want to make it absolutely clear that abuse and neglect will not be tolerated.”

The plan is to bring the idea before the Supervisory board in the next few weeks. 

The announcement for the intended special unit follows a 10-month investigation by U-T San Diego and the California Health Care Foundation’s Center for Health Reporting and resulting series of articles that uncovered deaths and injuries resulting from safety lapses. 

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Since then, state lawmakers have introduced 12 reform bills in California’s legislature geared toward stronger training requirements, mandatory liability insurance for assisted living providers, and higher maximum penalties for incidents. 

Local assisted living providers recently met with Jacobs to talk about methods for helping families identify compliant communities, according to U-T San Diego, which could look like a grading system or a special seal of approval for those that meet high standards. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace