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Cobb caretaker’s actions do not warrant lengthy imprisonment

Cobb County nurse Christiana Okpambor as she was taken into custody.

Cobb County nurse Christiana Okpambor as she was taken into custody.

by Jarah Cotton, Staff Writer

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Cobb County nurse Christiana Okpambor is currently being held in the Cobb County Jail for slapping an autistic, blind, 41-year-old woman.

Okpambor works as a certified nursing assistant at Jubilee Personal Care home in Powder Springs, GA. Court records indicate that Okpambor was tasked with assisting residence as they were transported to a medical facility for blood testing. Upon arrival witnesses revealed that Okpambor slapped patient Susan Adams twice on the side of the head to compel her to leave her seat and exit the bus.

According to articles 1-2 of Georgia Code section 30-5-8 “the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of any disabled adult or elder person shall be unlawful.” the statute goes on to specify that the term ‘disabled adult’ includes those who are over the age of 18 and “A resident of a long-term care facility, as defined in Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31”

Those in violation of these laws shall be convicted of a felony, and may be sentenced to no less than one, but no greater than five years of imprisonment.

All information regarding this case I acquired through Fox 5 news, buit in none of the witnesses’ testimonies that have been reported described in bruises or other injuries sustained by the victim of this alleged abuse.

Hopefully, Okpambor’s sentencing will not be harsh, as it does not appear as though she acted with any malicious intent. She undoubtedly behaved unacceptably roughly with one of her patients, but her actions were not egregious enough to warrant years of imprisonment.

Disabled persons are in need of protection from those seeking to take advantage of them. They are easily abused and mistreatment, which, understandably, has caused the majority of states to pass laws protecting their safety and welfare.

However, intent should be taken into account when determining what constitutes as abuse. Okpambor’s actions seem to be those of someone who has grown impatient, and is no longer capable of treating her patients with the care they are in need of. She should lose her job, not her freedom, for this offense.

If this type of situation had happened repeatedly, or if she had caused her patient  significant bodily harm from the force she exerted in this strike, imprisonment would be more plausible. Based upon the Fox 5 article, however, this is not the case, and consequentially Okpambor is not deserving of years of imprisonment.

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Cobb caretaker’s actions do not warrant lengthy imprisonment