Michigan aiming to reduce seclusion and restraints at institutions that care for children

After the death of a 16-year-old boy who was tackled and restrained by staff at a juvenile justice facility, Michigan children's services officials imposed emergency rules limiting the use of restraints. In the past year, the use of restraints – which include handcuffs, straitjackets, even chemicals and medication – dropped from about 600 cases per month to fewer than half that. The state now is considering permanent rules restricting their use and is requiring more training for staff in preventing physical conflicts. One advocate says Pennsylvania serves as a model for nearly eliminating the problem.

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