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Restraint and Seclusion Reduction: Legal and Public Policy Strategies

Beth Mitchell, J.D. and Aaryce Hayes, M.S.W., Advocacy Inc; and Jacki McKinney, National People of Color Consumer/Survivor of Network

Restraint and seclusion remains a prevalent behavior control technique in a broad range of facilities and is both dehumanizing and deadly. Advocates, consumers and family members have great concerns regarding the scope of existing federal and state law protections in this area and the lack of effective enforcement. We will explore these concerns, and discuss recommended legal and public policy strategies to work toward the elimination of abusive restraint and seclusion. We will highlight approaches that should be promoted at the state level to improve oversight and standards, and the role of the Protection and Advocacy System in investigating and remedying abusive restraint and seclusion.