Randy Hendricks, NBC Connecticut
Opponents of a nursing home for prisoners and mentally ill people held a rally on Wednesday.
Rocky Hill residents rallied, held numerous meetings and filed a lawsuit to stop a nursing home for prison inmates and mental patients from opening on West Street, but they were dealt a devastating blow this week when a judge dismissed their suit.
“It makes me feel awful and devastated. I feel like this is a very complicated issue that should’ve been argued on the merits and, unfortunately, the judge just dismissed it without giving us a day in court,” Nicole Crawford said.
Crawford has spearheaded the effort to keep iCare Management from opening the facility, which would be across the street from her home.
“We’ve stood up and said … ‘We’re concerned about our safety,’ and they don’t care,” Crawford said.
The nursing home is aimed at providing end-of-life care for prison inmates. State officials said by moving patients into the 95-bed facility, it’d qualify the state to receive more than $5 million a year in federal Medicaid reimbursement.
However, Crawford said the facility raises many safety concerns.
“It’s 50 feet from homes and children. … You’re putting potentially 95 sex offenders, including pedophiles, 50 feet from children.”
NBC Connecticut reached out to iCare Management, the private company that would run the facility, but did not hear back as of Thursday morning.
Crawford said this is one local issue that should concern everyone in Connecticut.
“If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere,” she said.
Meantime, the town of Rocky Hill is planning to appeal the ruling.