Senate Bill 587, authored by Senator Ron Justice, R-Chickasha and Representative Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, will allow residents of Oklahoma’s nursing homes to have video surveillance cameras installed in their private rooms at their own expense. AARP Oklahoma pushed for the legislation and forwarded hundreds of members’ e-mails to lawmakers to show support.
Prior to the passage of Senate Bill 587, some Oklahoma nursing homes prohibited the use of electronic monitoring devices. Oklahoma nursing facilities are now prohibited by law from denying admittance to or attempting to move or retaliate against a resident that desires to have a private video surveillance camera installed in his or her own room and footage recorded by such devices can be admissible as evidence in criminal or civil proceedings and administrative hearings in accordance with the rules of evidence.
In addition, Senate Bill 587 safeguards the privacy rights of residents in shared rooms by requiring the consent of all residents in a room prior to the commencement of surveillance. If a resident of a shared room does not desire video monitoring, nursing facilities are required to accommodate a room change so that a resident desiring video surveillance may exercise their right to electronic monitoring.