As One State Considers Banning Restraints, A Child In Another State
Dies After Restraint
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 2, 2005
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA & CLEVELAND, GEORGIA--The restraint-related death of a 9-year-old boy has prompted the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to consider prohibiting group home workers from sitting on children to restrain them.
Jamal Odum suffocated to death in 2003 after a 220-pound group home worker lay across his back for seven minutes during a restraint.
An HHS proposal would ban laying across a child's back or chest, forcing compliance by causing pain, sitting on or straddling any part of the body, or using drugs or mechanical devices to restrain a child.
It would also require group homes to train workers on de-escalation techniques and understanding the risks of restraining children on their stomachs. The proposal would affect about 1,800 children in group homes funded through Medicaid.
In related news, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the apparent restraint-related death of a 13-year-old boy at a therapeutic wilderness camp run by the state's Department of Human Resources.
Travis Parker, who reportedly had asthma, was being restrained on the night of April 20 when he started having trouble breathing. He later died at a nearby hospital.
The Appalachian Wilderness Camp serves youths through the juvenile justice and mental health systems.
Staff members there have been put on administrative leave while the investigation continues.
"Plan would ban workers from sitting on children as a restraint" (Island Packet)
"GBI investigating death of boy at state camp" (Associated Press)