The use of 'tie down' in New Zealand prisons​-what is the role of the health sector?

08:00 EDT 12th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The use of 'tie down' in New Zealand prisons​-what is the role of the health sector?"

We draw upon two recent reports from the Chief Ombudsman that describe the prison management of people assessed at risk of self-harm or suicide, as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. People were mechanically restrained on 'tie-down' beds by their legs, arms and chest or placed in waist restraints with their hands cuffed behind their backs over prolonged periods. These practices occurred at the direction of, or were approved by, health professionals. We highlight ethical issues for health professionals party to 'tie down' and examine the current guidance and regulatory framework for health professionals working in coercive environments. This article is timely in the context of current Government Inquiries into the criminal justice system and mental health and addictions, the review of the health and disability system, the Correction's Amendment Bill before parliament, and Government plans to expand Waikeria prison to include a 100-bed mental health facility. We call for the use of 'tie down' to be abolished in New Zealand prisons, and for all health professionals to refuse to participate in this practice. Government must make provision for sufficient forensic mental health capacity and capability in the health sector, and ensure timely, equitable access to high-quality, trauma-informed and culturally safe services.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The New Zealand medical journal
ISSN: 1175-8716
Pages: 60-68


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Economic sector concerned with the provision, distribution, and consumption of health care services and related products.

An organizational enterprise between a public sector agency, federal, state or local, and a private sector entity. Skills and assets of each sector are shared to deliver a service or facility for the benefit or use of the general public.

A component of the private sector characterized by ease of entry; reliance on indigenous resources; family ownership; small scale operations; skills acquired outside of the formal sector; and unregulated markets.

The economic aspects of health care, its planning, and delivery. It includes government agencies and organizations in the private sector.

A group of islands in the southwest Pacific. Its capital is Wellington. It was discovered by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642 and circumnavigated by Cook in 1769. Colonized in 1840 by the New Zealand Company, it became a British crown colony in 1840 until 1907 when colonial status was terminated. New Zealand is a partly anglicized form of the original Dutch name Nieuw Zeeland, new sea land, possibly with reference to the Dutch province of Zeeland. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p842 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p378)

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