DCFS fires contractor who shackled child despite ban on hard restraints

CHICAGO -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has fired a contractor who improperly restrained a child during transport despite a DCFS ban on the practice since late last year.

A child under DCFS care was "unacceptably restrained with hard ankle restraints" Monday during a transport to an out-of-state facility, DCFS spokesman Jassen Strokosch said in an emailed statement.

"The use of hard restraints on any child is completely unacceptable and violates the Department's ban on ever using hard restraints. No one in our care should ever be mistreated like this," Strokosch said.

RELATED: DCFS bans handcuffs, shackles when transporting minors following investigation

He said DCFS will be terminating its contract with the transport company, and has notified its Office of the Inspector General.

DCFS banned the use of shackles in November 2019 after two teenage boys were handcuffed and shackled at their ankles as they were separately driven to a shelter in suburban Palatine.

RELATED: DCFS accused of keeping children inside makeshift shelters in city offices

After that incident, DCFS said the use of restraints in the case "was totally unacceptable and against department policy" and banned the use of hard restraints.

Soft restraints, however, would be permitted if they were court ordered or ordered by a psychiatrist, DCFS has said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2020.)