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Civil Rights Lawyer – Texas Jails are Cited for Restraint Violations – Part 2

An example of a type of restraint used in Texas jails is a restraint chair. Restraint chairs use belts and straps to secure an individual’s legs, arms, and torso in an upright position. Restraints are used to restrain inmates who are violent, uncontrollable, and/or a hazard to themselves or others. A report came out in 2020 claiming that 20 recent custodial deaths are linked to restraint chairs. This is on top of an earlier report in 2014 claiming that three dozen inmates died in county jails in the U.S. from the 1990s to that time, when they first began to be used.

Although using a restraint chair can help prevent injurious behavior, using the chairs for extended periods of time has led to fatal health issues. For example, blood clots can form from being in the same position for too long. One state banned use of a restraint chair in jails after the death of a 29-year-old inmate who had been kept in a restraint chair for 16 hours. The inmate died from a blood clot that developed in his lungs during the time of his restraint.

It has been determined that, oftentimes, inmates who are deemed to be a threat are suffering from medical problems that are exacerbated by placing them in a restraint chair. Many complications and disturbing reports connected to using restraint chairs have arisen over the years.

See Part 1 and this ongoing series.

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Written By: author image smchugh
author image smchugh