STATE HOUSE – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Dennis M. Canario and Sen. Gayle L. Goldin that prohibits using prone restraints at certain state licensed facilities and creates a study commission to study the restraint reporting requirements of those same facilities was signed into law today by Governor Raimondo at a ceremonial bill signing.
“The risky and dangerous practice of prone restraining needs to end inRhode Island before an unfortunate tragedy takes place,” said Representative Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton). “The lives of the men, women and children who are seeking help at our state facilities should not ever be put at risk in this manner, especially when considering the incidents that have happened nation-wide when prone restraining has gone horribly wrong.”
“We should treat everyone with dignity. We know prone restraints can be deadly. By eliminating this method in covered facilities, and providing training of other safer techniques, we know Rhode Islanders will be treated humanely,” said Senator Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence).
The legislation (2016-H 7154 Sub A / 2016-S 2426 Sub A) is in response to the controversial technique of prone restraining that has led to cases of asphyxia and death when utilized. Any agency, organization, or public or private entity that provides support or care, residential support, education, healthcare, treatment, or direct supervision that is licensed by the state is now banned from the practice. The law does not apply to any law enforcement department, the department of corrections, the training school for youth, and the forensic unit at the Eleanor Slater Hospital. The legislation also requires nationally recognized training of all service providers in the reduction and elimination of restraint and seclusion techniques when dealing with patients and clients.
Finally, the bill creates a joint legislative study commission to study the restraint reporting requirements of each facility and entity covered under the law and make recommendations to ensure that reporting is as uniform as possible and appropriate data is collected to inform practice and policy decisions in the future.
Sen. Gayle L. Goldin, left, and Rep. Dennis M. Canario, right, join Governor Gina M. Raimondo for a ceremonial bill signing in the State Room of the State House.