RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


OMR Plans to Ban Restraints
July 30, 2003

At the July 22 meeting of the Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) Planning Advisory Committee (PAC), Deputy Secretary Kevin Casey announced his plans to eliminate the use of restraint in OMR funded programs. Citing the danger and ineffectiveness of restraint, Deputy Secretary Casey is proposing a three phase process which he feels will eliminate the practice.

OMR will immediately issue an “Advisory Bulletin” warning about the effects of restraint, especially prone restraint. Casey cited two deaths in the last few months as one of the motivating factors for this action. The “Advisory Bulletin” will be followed by a policy bulletin effectively banning restraint. The bulletin will be followed by the promulgation of relevant regulations.

PCPA will provide more information on these processes as they are obtained and will determine how to offer provider suggestions to OMR. Immediate member input on the effect of restraint elimination on consumers, families, staff, and programs would be appreciated. Some members, in cooperation with their county MH/MR programs, have already eliminated the use of restraints through such methods as psychiatric assessment and treatment. Information on these approaches would also be helpful. It is important to note that such positive changes may present a need for additional funds in some situations. Please contact Lynn Keltz via email, telephone (717-657-7078), or fax (717-657-3552).

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