Disability Rights Arkansas Report on Death at Booneville Human Development Center

Little Rock, AR – Today, Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc. (DRA) released a report, “Booneville Human Development Center Death Investigation,” detailing the death of a young 24 year old resident at Booneville Human Development Center (Booneville HDC) last February.

This is the third report issued by DRA concerning Booneville HDC. In January 2015, DRA issued their first report, “A New Approach to Care in Arkansas: Why the Time Has Come to Close the Booneville Human Development Center.” The report highlighted overuse of restraint and poor conditions at the facility. In January 2016, DRA issued a second report, “Bound to the Past: The Excessive Use of Restraint at Booneville Human Development Center,” which addressed ongoing concerns about the excessive use of restraint and treatment of residents.

“During our investigation on restraints at Booneville HDC, we discovered that one of the young female residents who was regularly restrained was unavailable for questioning due to her death at the facility. This caused us to undertake a detailed investigation into her death,” said Tom Masseau, Executive Director of DRA.

DRA concluded that the female resident choked to death as a result of a Behavior Treatment Program that ignored choking and seizure precautions necessary for her safety. DRA further concluded that failure to for the resident’s death was avoidable with proper care and coordination of care and appropriate treatment planning.

“From our investigations of Booneville HDC, a clear picture has been painted – the facility is a poorly run, relic of the past, which does not provide adequate, safe treatment for residents” said Mr. Masseau.

For a full version of the report in PDF, please visit click here.