Code of the District of Columbia

Part B. Limitations on the Use of Restraints.


§ 2–1515.51. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(1) “Administrator” means the superintendent of the secure juvenile residential facility, or the director of the facility under the control of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, or any designees thereof, including medical and correctional staff.

(2) “Confined” means housed, detained, or serving a commitment in a secure juvenile residential facility or other facility under the control of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.

(3) “Labor” means the period of time before a birth during which contractions are of sufficient frequency, intensity, and duration to bring about effacement and progressive dilation of the cervix and shall include any medical condition in which a woman is sent or brought to a medical facility for the purpose of delivering her baby.

(4) “Medical facility” shall include a hospital, birthing center, or clinic.

(5) “Postpartum recovery” means a period of recovery following childbirth or miscarriage or termination of a pregnancy as determined by a physician to be medically necessary for healing.

(6) “Restraints” means any device used to control or bind the movement of a person’s body or limbs.

(7) “Secure juvenile residential facility” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 22-2603.01(7).


(Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-335, § 151; as added July 25, 2015, D.C. Law 20-280, § 101(b), 62 DCR 1495.)


§ 2–1515.52. Use of restraints by places of confinement.

(a) In any instance that restraints are used on a confined youth who is known to be pregnant, the restraints used must be the least restrictive available and the most reasonable under the circumstances.

(b) In any instance that the restraints used on a confined youth who is known to be pregnant require restraints more restrictive than the least restrictive available, the use of such restraints shall be subject to the reporting requirements of § 2-1515.53.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, no confined youth who is is known to be pregnant or is in postpartum recovery shall be put in restraints at any time, including during transport to a medical facility or while receiving treatment at a medical facility.

(d)(1) The Administrator may authorize the use of restraints on a confined youth who is known to be pregnant or is in postpartum recovery after making an individualized determination, at the time that the use of restraints is considered, that extraordinary circumstances apply and restraints are necessary to prevent the confined youth from injuring herself or others, including medical or correctional personnel.

(2) Notwithstanding the authorization by the Administrator under paragraph (1) of this subsection, if the doctor, nurse, or other health professional treating the confined youth determines that the removal of the restraints is medically necessary to protect the health or safety of the youth, or her baby, the restraints shall be removed immediately.

(e) The Administrator shall not authorize the use of restraints on a confined youth who is in labor.


(Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-335, § 152; as added July 25, 2015, D.C. Law 20-280, § 101(b), 62 DCR 1495; Apr. 4, 2017, D.C. Law 21-238, § 402(d), 63 DCR 15312.)


§ 2–1515.53. Reporting requirements.

(a)(1) Within 10 days after the Administrator authorizes the use of restraints pursuant to § 2-1515.52(b), § 2-1515.52(c), or § 2-1515.52(d), the Administrator shall submit a written statement to the Director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services in the case of confined youth explaining the extraordinary circumstances and the reasons the use of restraints were necessary.

(2) The written statement must not include personal identifying information of the confined youth on whom restraints were used.


(Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-335, § 153; as added July 25, 2015, D.C. Law 20-280, § 101(b), 62 DCR 1495.)


§ 2–1515.54. Notice requirements.

The Administrator shall provide notice of the requirements of this part to:

(1) The relevant staff at the place of confinement, including:

(A) All medical staff;

(B) Staff and contractors who are involved in the transport of confined youth of child-bearing age; and

(C) Other staff as the Administrator deems appropriate; and

(2) All youth who are in their third trimester of pregnancy at the time the place of confinement takes custody of the person.


(Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-335, § 154; as added July 25, 2015, D.C. Law 20-280, § 101(b), 62 DCR 1495.)