Education Law Resource Center

Physical Restraints
General Information about Restraints and Preventing Restraints
May 2009 GAO Report: Seclusions & Restraints, Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers. Provides recent case studies of students that have been harmed or died from restraints and an overview of state and federal laws.
Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates (COPAA) report detailing incidents of aversive interventions in schools.
Hartford Courant articles about physical restraint
Hartford Courant National Restraint Death Database. Provides a listing of deaths due to physical restraints.
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) compiled a listing of deaths and injuries from restraints since the Courant articles that ran in 1998.
The Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse website has information about the risks of restraints including information and personal stories about children who have died from restraints. It also includes a petition to support federal legislation to ban the use of "face down" restraints.
Restraint Asphyxia Library. Provides information and resources about asphyxia, a common cause of death during restraint.
Asperger’s Express provides information about the risks of restraints and efforts to reduce or eliminate the use of restraints.
U.S. General Accounting Office Report: Improper Restraint or Seclusion Use Places People at Risk.
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), Preventing Restraint Deaths.
The United States Dept. of Heath and Human Services, A National Call to Action:  Eliminating the Use of Seclusion and Restraint Reducing Seclusion and Restraint Use -- What Works!
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration has developed a new training manual on seclusion and restraint free mental health services called A Roadmap to Seclusion and Restraint Free Services. The manual includes a number of modules and PowerPoint presentations.
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), Best Practices in Behavior Support and Intervention Project designed to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion in seven demonstration sites across the country by improving the training and supervision of staff who work directly with children.
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), chart comparing various requirements and national standards for  the use of restraints in hospitals, residential treatment centers and other settings.
CWLA State Standards and Definitions for Restraint and Seclusion.
CWLA publications about reducing or eliminating the use of restraint.
CWLA’s bibliography of studies regarding the risks of restraints and eliminating or reducing the use of restraints.
Restraints: Working Towards a Restraint Free Environment.
Safe & Responsive Schools Project, Effective Responses, Physical Restraints.
International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP) Principles for the Elimination of Restraint.
Minimizing the Need for Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Residential Youth Care Through Skill-Based Treatment Programming.
National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse: provides information on restraint reduction and other issues.
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare: information on state efforts to drastically reduce seclusion and restraint.
Pennsylvania Restraint Reduction Initiative. More info on Pennsylvania's efforts to reduce restraint use.
Practicing Restraint, Scott Kirkwood, Children’s Voice Sept/Oct. 2003, profiles various agencies and facilities that have successfully reduced or eliminated the use of restraints.
A Review of How Six Children's Residential Mental Health Facilities are Attempting to Reduce or Eliminate the Use of Seclusion and Restraint, from the Ohio Legal Rights Services. Provides information about how facilities successfully reduced or eliminated the use of restraint in children’s residential treatment facilities.
Success Stories and Ideas for Reducing Restraint/Seclusion is a compendium of strategies jointly developed by The American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS), and the American Hospital Association (AHA) Section for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services
The Family Alliance  provides a variety of resources on restraints and aversives including resources on reducing or eliminating their use.
In September 2005 the Psychiatric Services Journal ran a series of articles about restraints in psychiatric institutions and state hospitals. The articles provide good information about the risks and costs of restraints and reducing or eliminating restraints that can be applied in the school setting as well. The articles include:
National Disability Rights Network and the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Technical Assistance Center webcast on Reducing Restraint and Seclusion of Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
Restraint and Seclusion: A Risk Management Guide
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued final regulations on patient rights in healthcare facilities. The rights include new training and other requirements regarding the use of restraints. The requirements apply to all participating hospitals including short-term, psychiatric, rehabilitation, long-term, children's and alcohol/drug treatment facilities. Read the American Association of People with Disabilities explanation of the requirements in the new regulations.


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