WHEREAS,              mentally ill and developmentally disabled children in crisis are often transported by police in handcuffs and sometimes leg shackles to hospitals or other facilities for further psychiatric evaluation, and

WHEREAS,              these children frequently have experienced psychological and physical trauma and this experience increases their trauma burden, criminalizes mental illness and dehumanizes them, and

WHEREAS,              this experience frequently occurs at school in front of their peers, increasing their shame and social isolation and further stigmatizing these children, and

WHEREAS,               this experience is not warranted, and

WHEREAS,              this experience can lead to further trauma for the child, and

WHEREAS,              the Commonwealth of Virginia has allocated 10 million dollars and identified an agency to transport mentally ill adults in similar situations as an alternative to police transportation. However, there has been no such action taken to protect minors, and

WHEREAS,              this population of children is even more fragile than adults, as trauma can actually alter brain development and result in long-lasting changes, therefore be it

RESOLVED,             that the Medical Society of Virginia work with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and other appropriate officials to develop alternatives to handcuffing, shackling, and tasering for the transport of mentally ill and developmentally disabled children.


3 replies
  1. tmoffatt
    tmoffatt says:


    A bit of an overreach: telling police and first responders how to do their jobs. No handcuffs, no taser, and lately, no sedation with ketamine. Restraint is better than ending up shooting a combative 200 ppound school athlete on a bad trip or with threatening hallucinations. Warm milk, cookies and a soothing voice ain’t gonna cut it. Let’s leave it as supporting the least traumatic method of control possible…perhaps with increased attention to police education (which I’d bet is on the agenda for every state legislature anyhow!)

  2. Zedler
    Zedler says:

    Not our fight

    We have niether the resources or the numbers to push this issue. If you are passionate about the issue I’m sure there is a banner elsewhere to rally.

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