Model Policies

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services – Involuntary Room Confinement Policy

The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services prohibits the use of room confinement as a form of punishment. The agency also limits the use of isolation for other purposes by requiring staff to obtain authorization from agency administrators to use isolation for periods of isolation longer than 15 minutes. In addition, staff must secure approvals from more senior officials outside of the facility as the requested time increases. This policy, coupled with other reforms at the agency, have led DYS to significantly reduce the use of room confinement, with any use of room confinement rarely exceeding 2 hours.