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Secluding aggressive young offenders is always the last resort says 4-country study
Date:11/3/2011

n was the favoured technique and was most effective when it was clear, structured and used in the early stages of aggression. Talking about the incident afterwards was also very important, so that both the adolescent and staff could reflect on why it happened and how it could be prevented in future.

  • Staff planned daily routines and worked together so that risks were minimised. Being able to respond quickly and call on colleagues for support, including staff from other units, was vital.

  • Isolation techniques ranged from separating the aggressor from other adolescents for five to 15 minutes, to give them a chance to calm down, to seclusion, which was only used when less restrictive interventions had failed. It was not used in Finland, where it is banned by legislation.

  • Duveting, where the adolescent is swathed in blankets to prevent violent acts and enable staff to transfer them to the seclusion room was not used in the UK unit. Restraint beds with straps were only used in Finland, for intensive care and for as short a time as possible.

  • If medication was needed it was jointly decided between the staff and adolescent, if possible. Forced medication was rarely used and only in major incidents where safety was seriously compromised.

  • Key factors that determined the level of response included the level of aggression involved, how well staff knew the individual adolescent's behaviour and what had proved helpful in the past.

  • Teamwork was important and all members of the multi-disciplinary team needed to be committed to therapeutic aggression management.

    "Staff in all four units displayed high ethical standards when it came to the use of restrictive treatment measures" says Johanna Berg. "They endeavoured to cooperate with the adolescent as long as possible and avoid coercive measures, while still maintaining the safety of others."

    The research team have come up with a number
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  • Contact: Annette Whibley
    annette.wizard@gmail.com
    Wiley-Blackwell
    Source:Eurekalert

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