Disability Rights Arkansas Report on Excessive and Unnecessary Restraint Use at Booneville Human Development Center
Little Rock, AR – Today, Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc. (DRA) released a report, “Bound to the Past: The Excessive Use of Restraint at Booneville Human Development Center,” detailing the excessive and unnecessary use of restraints at Booneville Human Development Center (BHDC).

“It is gravely concerning that in 2016 the reliance on restraints to overcome behavioral challenges at Booneville Human Development Center is so prevalent,” said Tom Masseau, executive director of DRA. “The potential for injury or loss of life is greatly increased.”

In January 2015, DRA issued their first report, “A New Approach to Care in Arkansas: Why the Time Has Come to Close the Booneville Human Development Center.” The report highlighted overuse of restraint used by the facility.

Since the publication of the report released in January 2015, DRA has continued to monitor and review the use of restraint at the Booneville Human Development Center. DRA reviewed all restraint reports for a sixteen month period and all human development center reports on restraints submitted to the Developmental Disability Services Board.

“During our investigation we saw instances of residents being frequently restrained without evidence of meaningful review of the necessity of the restraint or ways to avoid the restraint in the future, “says Masseau.

In addition to reviewing restraint reports, DRA talked with facility staff and administrators to discern not only the extent and type of restraints used but also the effort to provide programming to reduce restraint incidents. DRA also consulted with an expert in facility practices, including the use of restraints in facilities.

DRA concluded that the restraint practices at Booneville HDC are both contrary to currently recognized best practices regarding restraints and puts residents and staff at risk of physical and emotional harm. Furthermore, DRA has concluded that the restraint practices at Booneville HDC will not be eliminated without serious scrutiny and comprehensive changes with the facility.

For a full version of the report in PDF please click here