In a home in Cobb County Georgia located at 981 Laurel Springs Lane, Reequel Alita Penny, age 43, was keeping elderly women in her basement in 11 feet by 5 feet spaces separated by plywood without proper medicine, food, nor facilities. Penny pled guilty to felony criminal charges including, but not limited to, false imprisonment, deprivation and racketeering totaling 47 charges.
Judge C. LaTain Kell of Cobb County Superior Court sentenced Penny to 20 years in prison, with 10 to serve. The District Attorney, Vic Reynolds, stated that, “This case is about how we treat the elderly and disabled in our community. I hope the message was sent that these sorts of substandard conditions will not be tolerated.”
As I have stated in my prior blog post about Nursing Home Abuse, as our society begins to age, we are likely to see more and more cases of abuse and neglect of many types. These sentences and punishments, and more like it, will hopefully send a clear message that this type of behavior and neglect will not be tolerated by the law or by the community.
The disabled and the elderly are one of our most vulnerable populations in our society and we must stand up for those that can not stand up for themselves. As more and more personal care facilities are built and opened, and more and more assisted living communities are available to meet the demands of an aging society, it remains to be seen whether the supply will actually meet the demand. It is when this falls upon us that we see substandard living conditions and people being taken advantage of in this these types of environments.