Federal Investigation Reveals Constitutionally Deficient Care at New Jersey Veterans’ Homes
In a startling revelation, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced they have concluded an investigation which found that two state-run veterans' homes in New Jersey are providing care that is constitutionally inadequate.
The investigation focused on the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes at Menlo Park and Paramus. Operated by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, these homes provide long-term nursing care to veterans and their families. The probe was initiated under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA).
The federal agencies discovered that the residents of these homes face unreasonable harm due to inadequate infection control practices and deficient medical care. Such shortcomings are in direct violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
"The Paramus and Menlo Park veterans’ homes fail to provide the care required by the U.S. Constitution and subject their residents to unacceptable conditions," said U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Lack of Oversight
The issues at the veterans' homes are exacerbated by a lack of effective management and oversight, which has led to some of the highest numbers of resident deaths among similarly sized facilities in the region.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke stated, “Based on our investigation, we have found that these facilities have provided inadequate protection from infections and deficient medical care, which have caused these veterans and their families great harm.”
Following the investigation, the department provided the state with written notice outlining the alleged violations and the minimum remedial measures needed to address them. The focus is now on how the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will take action to improve conditions and provide the essential care that our veterans and their families rightfully deserve.
While the specific remedial measures were not disclosed, it is crucial for the veterans’ homes to address these issues urgently. Recommendations from federal authorities may include improved infection control protocols, comprehensive medical care plans, and strengthened management oversight.
The findings of the investigation have sounded alarm bells about the care being offered at New Jersey's state-run veterans' homes. It's an urgent call for state authorities to swiftly make the necessary changes to ensure the well-being of those who have served the nation and their families. As the federal agencies continue their oversight, New Jersey residents await concrete steps from state officials to address these serious violations.
For more details about the investigation, you can visit the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division at www.justice.gov/crt and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey at www.justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement.