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Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois



Misuse of restraint and seclusionA man's hands in restraint straps.

Physical, mechanical and chemical restraints and seclusion are extremely intrusive interventions that can pose significant risks for psychological and physical injury and even death. We have long promoted alternatives to restraint and seclusion, and we have challenged abuses in the application of such measures.

Oversight and monitoring of restraint and seclusion practices

We have the right to review records related to the use of restraint and seclusion that hospitals and other facilities must keep without consent of the individual or their guardian.

Our Safety and Quality Monitoring Program reviews restraint records and other rights restrictions.

When we find problems, we bring concerns to the attention of the facility and/or state and federal agencies.

These actions have highlighted the dangers associated with restraint and seclusion, and have led to changes in facility policies and practices, changes in state agency directives and changes in the law.

How we address misuse of restraint and seclusion

We provide individual advocacy and legal services when restraint and seclusion are misused. They help ensure that people with disabilities are safe, that their rights are not unfairly or unlawfully restricted, and that they receive quality services. We do that by:

  • Ensuring access to appropriate services
  • Challenging the restriction of individual rights
  • Using state and federal investigatory systems
  • Compelling action by state agencies and service providers
  • Ensuring access to the justice system

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Last updated: August 16, 2021

This website is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, both the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

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