this is an outdated text: switch to the updated & improved dc code website
home, about

The DC Code: § 7-1305.10 Mistreatment, neglect or abuse prohibited; use of restraints; seclusion; "time-out" procedures.

Index7 Human Health Care and Safety. (Refs & Annos)
a
Mistreatment, neglect or abuse in any form of any individual shall be prohibited. The routine use of all forms of restraint shall be eliminated. Physical or chemical restraint shall be employed only when absolutely necessary to prevent a customer from seriously injuring himself or herself, or others. Restraint shall not be employed as a punishment, for the convenience of staff or as a substitute for programs. In any event, restraints may only be applied if alternative techniques have been attempted and failed (such failure to be documented in the individual's record) and only if such restraints impose the least possible restriction consistent with their purposes. Each facility shall have a written policy defining:
1
The use of restraints;
2
The professionals who may authorize such use; and
3
The mechanism for monitoring and controlling such use.
b
Only professionals designated by the Director may order the use of restraints. Such orders shall be in writing and shall not be in force for over 12 hours. A customer placed in restraint shall be checked at least every 30 minutes by staff trained in the use of restraints and a written record of such checks shall be kept.
c
Mechanical restraints shall be designed for minimum discomfort and used so as not to cause physical injury to the customer. Opportunity for motion and exercise shall be provided for a period of not less than 10 minutes during each 2 hours in which restraint is employed.
d
Seclusion, defined as a placement of a customer alone in a locked room, shall not be employed. Legitimate "time-out" procedures may be utilized under close and direct professional supervision as a technique in behavior-shaping programs. Each facility shall have a written policy regarding "time-out" procedures.
e
Alleged instances of mistreatment, neglect or abuse of any individual shall be reported immediately to the Director and the Director shall inform the individual's counsel, parent or guardian who petitioned for the commitment, and the individual's advocate for a person with an intellectual disability of any such instances. There shall be a written report that the allegation has been thoroughly and promptly investigated (with the findings stated therein). Employees of facilities who report such instances of mistreatment, neglect, or abuse shall not be subjected to adverse action by the facility because of the report.
f
An individual's counsel, parent or guardian who petitioned for commitment and an individual's advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall be notified in writing whenever restraints are used and whenever an instance of mistreatment, neglect or abuse occurs.

Historical and Statutory

Prior Codifications 1981 Ed., § 6-1970. 1973 Ed., § 6-1690. Effect of Amendments D.C. Law 19-169 substituted "any individual" for "any customer", "an individual's" for "a customer's", "advocate for a person with an intellectual disability" for "mental retardation advocate", and "the individuals" for "the customers". Temporary Amendments of Section For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 505(u) of Multiyear Budget Spending Reduction and Support Temporary Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 10-253, March 23, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 1652). Emergency Act Amendments For temporary amendment of section, see § 402(h) of the Omnibus Budget Support Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-44, April 28, 1995, 42 DCR 2217) and § 506(u) of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160). Legislative History of Laws For legislative history of D.C. Law 2-137, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 7-1301.02. For legislative history of D.C. Law 11-52, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 7-1301.02. For history of Law 19-169, see notes under § 7-761.02. DC CODE § 7-1305.10 Current through December 11, 2012

Credits

(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 510, 25 DCR 5094; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 506(u), 42 DCR 3684; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(oo), 59 DCR 5567.)