The NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs has released the Spotlight on Prevention: Reducing the Use of Restraints.  The Justice Center recognizes the fact that use of restraints can lead to injuries or even death in extreme circumstances.  A recent study says between 50 and 150 people died each year in the United States as a result of seclusion and restraint practices. 

The Justice Center analyzed two-and-a-half years of data from substantiated abuse cases to identify the factors contributing to the deliberate, inappropriate use of restraints, a form of physical abuse under the NYS Protection of People with Special Needs Act.  The agency determined these types of restraints resulted in physical injury in 60% of the time.

For these reasons, the Justice Center has published the six-part toolkit Spotlight on Prevention: Reducing the Use of Restraints.  The toolkit is available on the Justice Center’s website.  It features an article detailing the benefits of using other methods for deescalating a situation and preventing a crisis.  It also has fact sheets for providers, direct-care staff, and advocates. 

“Deliberate inappropriate use of restraints puts both the person in care and the direct-care worker in danger.  Their use can be highly traumatic and is against the models the Justice Center encourages for optimal care of this vulnerable population.  We encourage providers, advocates, and the workforce to use the materials we’ve made available to learn how to avoid these situations and create an abuse free environment” said Justice Center Executive Director Denise Miranda.

The toolkit also contains a post-restraint debriefing for staff, and a staff check-in sheet meant to ensure members of the workforce prepared to start their shift caring for people with special needs.  The entire Spotlight on Prevention: Reducing the Use of Restraints can be found by visiting the Justice Center’s website at

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a toll-free hotline for people to report allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Anyone who witnesses or suspects an act of abuse or neglect has been committed can make a report.

The Justice Center has authority to investigate all reports of abuse and neglect in covered facilities and programs, pursue administrative sanctions against staff found responsible for misconduct, and its Special Prosecutor/Inspector General shares jurisdiction with local District Attorneys to prosecute criminal offenses involving allegations of abuse or neglect.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 30, 2018  Contact: Christine Buttigieg, Director of Public Information

(518) 949-5621 [email protected]