People with disabilities have the right to be free from abuse and neglect and from unnecessary restraint and seclusion.
NH Law Limiting Restraint & Seclusion
The use of restraint and seclusion puts children at risk of physical and emotional harm. In addition, neither restraint nor seclusion are effective means to reduce problem behavior.
RSA 126-U is a state law that limits the use of restraint and seclusion of children by schools and by certain providers of residential services and treatment to children. It restricts the use of restraint and seclusion only to emergency situations when no other intervention will prevent the substantial and imminent risk of serious bodily harm to the child or someone else. More information about this law can be found in our Know Your Rights: Restraint and Seclusion in School flyer.
New Hampshire law limits also limits the use of restraint and seclusion in certain facilities operated, overseen, or licensed by the State of New Hampshire, including youth detention centers, hospitals, child care agencies, group homes, crisis homes, and other residential treatment centers. See our Know Your Rights: Restraint and Seclusion in Facilities flyer.
Medicaid law similarly restricts the use of restraint and seclusion on both adults and children in facilities that accept Medicaid.
DRC-NH works to end unnecessary restraint and seclusion and the abuse and neglect of all people with disabilities. We have federal authority to monitor and investigate programs that serve people with disabilities. For examples of our work in this area, see the reports of our investigations of the Sununu Youth Services Center.
We work to increase empowerment and choice for individuals with mental health issues and to improve the adequacy of adult and children’s mental health services in schools and in the community.
Due to our advocacy, the school district stopped using the restraint chair in the classroom entirely. Sarah’s son is now much happier at school.
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