Restraint in Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) for Children under 18

In Florida, an individual who is in a Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) can only be restrained to control behaviors that create an emergency or crisis situation. Restraint means the immobilization of a person’s body in order to restrict movement by physically holding or by the use of mechanical or chemical restraints. This does not include protective medical devices used for the protection of injury. Any form of restraint requires a doctor’s order and specific documentation. Restraint is not to be used as punishment, to compensate for inadequate staffing or for the convenience of staff.

It’s important to remember that every effort should be made by staff to avoid unnecessary use of restraints, and should therefore try to redirect and diffuse problem behavior before it reaches crisis proportions.

Each facility or provider has developed its own policies and procedures related to the use of restraint. If you want to know what they are, ask the facility administrator for a copy.


Every Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) should have a complaint process in place to investigate complaints made by a youth in the facility or by a guardian, family member, friend or other interested individual. Sometimes, this is called a “grievance” or “complaint” procedure.

If you believe that a youth has been unjustly restrained in a manner that violated the youth’s rights, you may also contact:

  • Florida Abuse Hotline 1-800-962-2873, along with
  • Disability Rights Florida 1-800-342-0823