Department of Human Services rebuked for facility in Cambridge

  • Article by: Chris Serres , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 27, 2013 - 9:47 AM

The facility for disabled adults in Cambridge operated illegally for 10 months, a federal judge said in wake of a case over restraints.

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pokey2007Dec. 19, 1311:23 PM

This doesn't seem possible. There must be something wrong here...a mistake somewhere?

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cgaukel1Dec. 20, 13 8:00 AM

I was Program Administrator for 10 Licensed Assisted Living Programs in Minnesota. DHS was very strict about compliance with Minnesota's statutes and regulations. I didn't find that to be a bad thing at all. It's a shame though that they were non-compliant with their own regulations. In general, the Government isn't good at running their own social service programs.

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diquephazeDec. 20, 1310:24 AM

DHS agreed to “immediately and permanently discontinue the use of mechanical restraint,” including handcuffs and leg irons at its facility in Cambridge. -- They will knock them out with drugs instead.

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owatonnabillDec. 20, 1310:24 AM

This has been a long-going issue. Unfortunately the public for the most part is only aware of this via information filtered through the Strib and other like media outlets, and that is colored to say the least. METO (Minnesota Extended Treatment Options) which the program in question was known as up until 2011, did not serve just "persons with developmental disabilities who present a risk". , Bluntly, METO served people who couldn't be served anywhere else short of prison. Many if not most were violent and extremely unpredictable. It is all well and good to tug at the readers' heartstrings with lugubrious tales of poor unknowing developmentally disabled people being restrained for touching a pizza box but the reality of it is that the restraints were implemented far more often for attacks against people or destroying property. Additionally one can prattle on about how important it is to implement "humane" approaches that do not employ mechanical restraint but when the reality of the situation is that you may be working with staff, because of budget constraints, not nearly adequate both in terms of numbers available or of training, then "humane" at times necessarily takes a back seat to the stark necessity of safety: both of the alleged restraint victim and those he/she is/was targeting. This is not a defense of arbitrary procedures that may indeed at times have been over-restrictive or even harmful to the person in question. But every coin has two sides and it is more than likely that METO staff were responding the best that they could with the limited resources, both in training and in equipment, that they were allowed. Let's not forget that.

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