Abusive Restraint Practices in IMD
Disability Rights California confirmed a pattern of excessive and abusive restraint practices at a large locked nursing home serving individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Most of the residents lacked insight into their serious condition and were placed at the facility by publicly appointed conservators or the courts. Several years earlier, Disability Rights California had negotiated an access agreement with the facility’s corporate entity when denied access to records and residents after receiving numerous reports and then witnessing incidents of resident abuse.
Residents described being restrained face forward into the wall and then suspended in the air several feet off the ground. Residents were then suddenly dropped, causing them to fall to the floor. Staff then lifted the residents up, slamming them again against the wall and suspending them several feet off the ground only to then drop them again. This sequence of suspended wall restraint and then dropping was repeated multiple times during each restraint event. Residents also described staff kicking their legs so far apart during wall restraints as to cause lasting groin pain.
Facility staff did not dispute the residents’ description of the restraint techniques but claimed they were necessary and complied with the restraint training program principles, a claim disputed by the training program. Disability Rights California providing counseling to residents on how to file complaints with the department of state licensing. Disability Rights California also met a number of times with facility and corporate leadership. Eventually, all staff were retrained in proper restraint techniques, the facility administrator was replaced, and involved staff were terminated.