Connecticut - Restraint and Seclusion: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to adopt policies limiting use of restraint and seclusion that include comprehensive student protections, including the provision of mandatory training for school personnel.

Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 10-76b-9. Parental notification of physical restraint, seclusion

(a) If a person at risk is physically restrained or placed in seclusion, an attempt shall be made to notify the parent on the day of, or within twenty-four hours after, physical restraint or seclusion is used with the child as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the person or others, as permitted under sections 46a-150 to 46a-154. inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes. Such notification shall be made by phone, e-mail or other method which may include, but is not limited to, sending a note home with the child. The parent of such child, regardless of whether he or she received such notification, shall be sent a copy of the incident report no later than two business days after the emergency use of physical restraint or seclusion. The incident report shall contain, at a minimum, the information required under subsection (d) of section 46a-152 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

(b) Where seclusion is included in the IEP of a person at risk, the PPT and the parents shall determine a timeframe and manner of notification of each incident of seclusion.

(c) The Department of Education shall develop a plain language notice for use in the public schools to advise parents of the laws and regulations concerning the emergency use of physical restraint or seclusion or the use of seclusion as a behavior intervention in a child's IEP. On and after October 1, 2009, this notice shall be provided to the child's parent at the first PPT meeting following the child's referral for special education. For children who were eligible for special education prior to October 1, 2009, the notice shall be provided to the parent at the first PPT meeting convened after October 1, 2009. The notice shall also be provided to a child's parent at the first PPT meeting at which the use of seclusion as a behavior intervention is included in the child's IEP.


General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 46a-154. Internal monitoring, training and development of policies and procedures required and subject to state agency inspection.

(a) Each institution or facility that provides direct care or supervision of a person at risk shall develop policies and procedures that (1) establish monitoring and internal reporting of the use of physical restraint and seclusion on persons at risk, and (2) require training of all providers and assistant providers of care or supervision of persons at risk in the use of physical restraint and seclusion on persons at risk. Such training shall include, but not be limited to: Verbal defusing or deescalation; prevention strategies; types of physical restraint; the differences between life-threatening physical restraint and other varying levels of physical restraint; the differences between permissible physical restraint and pain compliance techniques; monitoring to prevent harm to a person physically restrained or in seclusion and recording and reporting procedures on the use of restraints and seclusion.

(b) Each institution or facility required to develop policies and procedures under subsection (a) of this section shall make such policies and procedures available upon request to the commissioner of the state agency that has jurisdiction or supervisory control over the institution or facility.
Connecticut General Assembly


General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 46a-153. Recording and annual compilation of use of restraint and seclusion. Review of annual compilation by state agencies. Reports.

(a) Each institution or facility that provides direct care or supervision of persons at risk shall (1) record each instance of the use of physical restraint or seclusion on a person at risk and the nature of the emergency that necessitated its use, and (2) include such information in an annual compilation on its use of such restraint and seclusion. The commissioner of the state agency that has jurisdiction or supervisory control over each institution or facility shall review the annual compilation prior to renewing a license for or a contract with such institution or facility.

(b) If the use of such restraint or seclusion results in physical injury to the person, the institution or facility shall report the incident to the commissioner of the state agency that has jurisdiction or supervisory control over the institution or facility. The commissioner receiving a report of such an incident shall report any incidence of serious injury or death to the executive director of the nonprofit entity designated by the Governor in accordance with section 46a-10b to serve as the Connecticut protection and advocacy system, as required by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, 42 USC 15041 et seq., as amended from time to time, and any regulations promulgated thereunder, and as required by the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, 42 USC 10801 et seq.,as amended from time to time, and any regulations promulgated thereunder, and, if appropriate, to the Child Advocate of the Office of the Child Advocate.
Connecticut General Assembly


Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 10-76b-11. Reports of physical restraint, seclusion

The recording and reporting of instances of physical restraint or seclusion and the compilation of this information shall be in accordance with section 46a-153 of the Connecticut General Statutes. The recording of such instances shall be done on an incident report that contains the information and documentation required by sections 46a-152 and 46a-153 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Such reports shall be completed no later than the school day following the incident. The Department of Education shall develop and make available a model incident report.


Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 10-76b-8. Use of seclusion in public schools, requirements

(a) Except for an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the person or to others conforming to the requirements of subsection (b) of section 46a-152 of the Connecticut General Statutes, seclusion may only be used if (1) this action is specified in the IEP of the person at risk in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section and (2) if other less restrictive, positive behavior interventions appropriate to the behavior exhibited by the person at risk have been implemented but were ineffective.

(b) If the PPT of a person at risk determines, based upon the results of a functional behavioral assessment and other information determined relevant by the PPT, that use of seclusion is an appropriate behavior intervention, the PPT shall include the assessment data and other relevant information in the IEP of the person at risk as the basis upon which a decision was made to include the use of seclusion as a behavior intervention. In such a case, the IEP shall specify (1) the location of seclusion, which may be multiple locations within a school building, (2) the maximum length of any period of seclusion, in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, (3) the number of times during a single day that the person at risk may be placed in seclusion, (4) the frequency of monitoring required for the person at risk while in seclusion, and (5) any other relevant matter agreed to by the PPT taking into consideration the age, disability and behaviors of the child that might subject the child to the use of seclusion.

(c) In the event the parent disagrees with the use of seclusion in the IEP of the person at risk, the parent shall have a right to the hearing and appeal process provided for in section 10-76h of the Connecticut General Statutes.

(d) Any period of seclusion (1) shall be limited to that time necessary to allow the person at risk to compose him or herself and return to the educational environment and (2) shall not exceed one hour. The use of seclusion may be continued with written authorization of the building principal or designee to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the person at risk or to others. In the case where transportation of the person at risk is necessary, the written authorization to continue the use of seclusion is not required if immediate or imminent injury to the person at risk or to others is a concern.

(e) The PPT shall, at least annually, review the continued use of seclusion as a behavior intervention for the person at risk. When the use of seclusion as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the person at risk or to others is repeated more than two times in any marking period, the PPT (1) shall convene to review the IEP of the person at risk, provided the PPT may agree to waive this meeting, (2) may consider additional evaluations or assessments to address the child's behaviors, and (3) may revise the child's IEP, as appropriate.


General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 46a-150. Definitions.

(4) “Life-threatening physical restraint” means any physical restraint or hold of a person that restricts the flow of air into a person’s lungs, whether by chest compression or any other means.

(5) “Physical restraint” means any mechanical or personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the free movement of a person’s arms, legs or head. The term does not include: (A) Briefly holding a person in order to calm or comfort the person; (B) restraint involving the minimum contact necessary to safely escort a person from one area to another; (C) medical devices, including, but not limited to, supports prescribed by a health care provider to achieve proper body position or balance; (D) helmets or other protective gear used to protect a person from injuries due to a fall; or (E) helmets, mitts and similar devices used to prevent self injury when the device is part of a documented treatment plan and is the least restrictive means available to prevent such self-injury.

(6) “Psychopharmacologic agent” means any medication that affects the central nervous system, influencing thinking, emotion or behavior.

(7) “Seclusion” means the confinement of a person in a room, whether alone or with staff supervision, in a manner that prevents the person from leaving, except that in the case of seclusion at Long Lane School, the term does not include the placing of a single child or youth in a secure room for the purpose of sleeping.
Connecticut General Assembly


Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 10-76b-6. Use of physical restraint and seclusion in public schools

No provider or assistant shall (1) use involuntary physical restraint on a person at risk or (2) involuntarily place a person at risk in seclusion, unless such use conforms to the requirements of sections 46a-150 to 46a-154, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, and the requirements of sections 10-76b-5 to 10-76b-11, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.


Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 10-76b-10. Required training for providers or assistants on the use of physical restraint or seclusion

A person at risk may be physically restrained or removed to seclusion only by a provider or assistant who has received training in physical management, physical restraint and seclusion procedures. Providers or assistants shall also be provided with training as described in subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 46a-154 of the Connecticut General Statutes.


General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 46a-151. Life-threatening physical restraint prohibited.

No provider of care or supervision of a person at risk and no assistant provider may use a life-threatening physical restraint on a person at risk.
Connecticut General Assembly


Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 10-76b-5. Use of physical restraint and seclusion in public schools. Definitions

For the purposes of sections 10-76b-6 to 10-76b-11, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies:

  • (1) "Assistant" means "assistant" as defined in section 46a-150 of the General Statutes;
  • (2) "Behavior intervention" means supports and other strategies developed by the planning and placement team to address the behavior of a person at risk which impedes the learning of the person at risk or the learning of others;
  • (3) "Business day" means "business day" as defined in subsection (a) of section 10-76h-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies;
  • (4) "Individualized education plan" or "IEP" means "individualized education plan" as defined in section 10-76a-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies;
  • (5) "Parent" or "parents," means "parents" as defined in section 10-76a-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies;
  • (6) "Person at risk" means "person at risk" as defined in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (3) of section 46a-150 of the Connecticut General Statutes;
  • (7) "Physical restraint" means "physical restraint" as defined in section 46a-150 of the Connecticut General Statutes;
  • (8) "Planning and placement team" or "PPT" means "planning and placement team" as defined in section 10-76a-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies;
  • (9) "Provider" means "provider" as defined in section 46a-150 of the Connecticut General Statutes; and
  • (10) "Seclusion" means "seclusion" as defined in section 46a-150 of the Connecticut General Statutes, provided seclusion does not include any confinement of a person at risk in which the person is physically able to leave the area of confinement including, but not limited to, in-school suspension and time-out.

General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 46a-152. Physical restraint, seclusion and use of psychopharmacologic agents restricted. Notification of parent or guardian of physical restraint or seclusion of child required. Monitoring and documentation required.

(a) No provider or assistant may use involuntary physical restraint on a person at risk except (1) as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the person at risk or to others, provided the restraint is not used for discipline or convenience and is not used as a substitute for a less restrictive alternative, (2) as necessary and appropriate, as determined on an individual basis by the person's treatment team and consistent with sections 17a-540 to 17a-550, inclusive, for the transportation of a person under the jurisdiction of the Whiting Forensic Division of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

(b) No provider or assistant may involuntarily place a person at risk in seclusion except as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the person or to others, provided the seclusion is not used for discipline or convenience and is not used as a substitute for a less restrictive alternative.

(c) No provider or assistant may use a psychopharmacologic agent on a person at risk without that person's consent except (1) as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the person or to others, or (2) as an integral part of the person's established medical or behavioral support plan, as developed consistent with section 17a-543 or, if no such plan has been developed, as part of a licensed practitioner's initial orders. The use of psychopharmacologic agents, alone or in combination, may be used only in doses that are therapeutically appropriate and not as a substitute for other appropriate treatment.

(d) Any use of physical restraint or seclusion on a person at risk shall be documented in the person's medical record. The documentation shall include (1) in the case of emergency use, the nature of the emergency and what other steps, including attempts at verbal deescalation, were taken to prevent the emergency from arising if there were indications that such an emergency was likely to arise, and (2) a detailed description of the nature of the restraint or seclusion, its duration and its effect on the person's established medical or behavioral support plan.

(e) Any person at risk who is physically restrained shall be continually monitored by a provider or assistant. Any person at risk who is involuntarily placed in seclusion shall be frequently monitored by a provider or assistant. Each person so restrained or in seclusion shall be regularly evaluated by a provider or assistant for indications of physical distress. The provider or assistant conducting the evaluation shall enter each evaluation in the person's medical record. For purposes of this subsection, "monitor" means (1) direct observation, or (2) observation by way of video monitoring within physical proximity sufficient to provide aid as may be needed.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting any rights a person may have under sections 17a-540 to 17a-550, inclusive, section 17a-566 or section 54-56d.
Connecticut General Assembly


Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 10-76b-7. Use of physical restraint and seclusion in public schools, exceptions

Nothing in sections 46a-150 to 46a-154, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes or sections 10-76b-5 to 10-76b-11, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies shall be construed to interfere with the responsibility of local or regional boards of education to maintain a safe school setting in accordance with section 10-220 of the Connecticut General Statutes or to supersede the provisions of subdivision (6) of section 53a-18 of the Connecticut General Statutes concerning the use of reasonable physical force.


General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 10-236b. Physical restraint and seclusion of students by school employees.

(a) For purposes of this section:

  • (1) “Life-threatening physical restraint” means any physical restraint or hold of a person that (A) restricts the flow of air into a person’s lungs, whether by chest compression or any other means, or (B) immobilizes or reduces the free movement of a person’s arms, legs or head while the person is in the prone position;
  • (2) “Psychopharmacologic agent” means any medication that affects the central nervous system, influencing thinking, emotion or behavior;
  • (3) “Physical restraint” means any mechanical or personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the free movement of a person’s arms, legs or head. The term does not include: (A) Briefly holding a person in order to calm or comfort the person; (B) restraint involving the minimum contact necessary to safely escort a person from one area to another; (C) medical devices, including, but not limited to, supports prescribed by a health care provider to achieve proper body position or balance; (D) helmets or other protective gear used to protect a person from injuries due to a fall; or (E) helmets, mitts and similar devices used to prevent self-injury when the device is (i) part of a documented treatment plan or individualized education program pursuant to section 10-76d, or (ii) prescribed or recommended by a medical professional, as defined in section 38a-976, and is the least restrictive means available to prevent such self-injury;
  • (4) “School employee” shall have the same meaning as provided in subsection (b) of section 10-221o;
  • (5) “Seclusion” means the involuntary confinement of a student in a room, whether alone or with supervision, in a manner that prevents the student from leaving; and
  • (6) “Student” means a child (A) enrolled in grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, in a public school under the jurisdiction of a local or regional board of education, (B) receiving special education and related services in an institution or facility operating under contract with a local or regional board of education pursuant to subsection (d) of section 10-76d, (C) enrolled in a program or school administered by a regional education service center established pursuant to section 10-66a, or (D) receiving special education and related services from an approved private special education program, but shall not include any child receiving educational services from (i) Unified School District #2, established pursuant to section 17a-37, or (ii) the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

(b) No school employee shall use a physical restraint on a student except as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the student or to others, provided the restraint is not used for discipline or convenience and is not used as a substitute for a less restrictive alternative.

(c) No school employee shall use a life-threatening physical restraint on a student. This section shall not be construed as limiting any defense to criminal prosecution for the use of deadly physical force that may be available under sections 53a-18 to 53a-22, inclusive.
Connecticut General Assembly

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