Updated: Friday, 07 Dec 2012, 7:03 PM EST
Published : Friday, 07 Dec 2012, 7:03 PM EST
ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) -- Some people in Rocky Hill say a plan to convert a closed nursing home into a nursing home for elderly prison inmates is a very bad idea, but the state says there is no danger and the move will save Connecticut tax payers a lot of money.
Elderly, terminally ill, nearing death behind bars, the state is still required to take care of these inmates but the state's solution is getting pretty bad reviews.
"I can see it right from my kitchen window, my deck. It's seconds away from the kids if they want to go out in the back yard and play," Amber Petersen said.
"Dead against it. I'm mad and I'm definitely going to fight against it and I don't think it's a good idea," Tony Fabi said.
What the two young parents are talking about is the state's plan to use the closed nursing home in Rocky Hill as a treatment center for as many as 95 elderly prison inmates.
The problem for many is that the facility is surrounded on all sides by a residential neighborhood of young families.
"We just bought the house in September and we had no idea that this was even happening," Petersen said.
The majority of the nearly 17-thousand people in prison are younger men but about 250 are over 60 and many of them are elderly and in failing health, essentially receiving nursing home type care behind bars.
The Malloy Administration says there will be some added security but that the inmates will be no more dangerous than any other nursing home residents nearing death.
"These have to be terminally ill and completely debilitated so these are people that cannot stand up, can't get out of bed, severe dementia and you know, picture a hospice," Mike Lawlor the Gov's Criminal Justice Advisor said.
"They're saying terminally ill. Down the road are we going to go form terminally ill to people who may have hip replacements or broken legs and so forth and end up being truly a prison, not a so-called nursing home," Democrat Rep. Tony Guerrera asked.
But Lawlor says by bringing these old inmates here the state would qualify for nearly 6 million dollars a year in federally reimbursed Medicaid instead of footing the entire bill, so the move would actually save the state money.
This facility would be the first of its kind in the state of Connecticut.