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For Our Own Safety: Examining the Safety of High-Risk Interventions for Children and Young People

NCJ Number
Michael A. Nunno, David M. Day, Lloyd B. Bullard
Date Published
305 pages
A collection of diverse viewpoints presented at an international symposium, this book examines the legal, ethical, and historical uses of physical restraints and seclusion of children in residential care and/or treatment, the psychological and emotional impacts of restraint, and guidelines for development and use, as well as strategies to reduce use.
The conclusion drawn after examining the topic of physical restraints with children and youth is physical restraints are complex and their impact depends on the context of their use. Overall, the book raises more questions than it answers. If the goal of restraints is safety and containment, physical safety, and psychological safety, then it must be concluded that restraints fall far short in accomplishing this goal for all children. If other means of ensuring safety are available, they would be better put to use to optimally achieve the objectives of residential care for the largest number of children and youth in care. If they undermine the overall objective of residential care, their continued use should be seriously questioned. It is felt that through open communication, debate, discussion, research, and theory development, a comprehensive understanding of the behavioral, interpersonal, and environmental underpinnings of physical restraints will help balance the multiple dynamic and transactional systems in which they are imbedded. Only then can the goal to eradicate the conditions under which physical restraints are used be achieved. This book was created out of papers and the presentations of an international symposium held in June 2005 in New York on the safety of high-risk interventions for children and young people. All contributors to the symposium participated in the symposium. The book is organized into six sections: young people and physical restraints, theoretical and historical issues, ensuring safety and managing risk, reducing restraints through organizational change, legal issues, and conclusions. The primary goal of this book is to contribute to the discussion on the appropriate use of high-risk interventions, and, therefore, to improve the general quality of young people’s and children’s correction, residential, and psychiatric treatment. Figures, references, and index