Residents of the Chester Mental Health Center in southern Illinois could be shackled and handcuffed while they are being transported somewhere, under a bill on its way to the floor of the Illinois House. “We truly believe this particular bill is for the safety of the community, the safety of the staff, and, also, the safety of these particular patients,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton).
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Opponents said the language of the bill was too vague. And a representative of the advocacy group Equip for Equality said this is going on without authorization anyway. Under the bill, use of the restraints would have to be approved by a Chester doctor. While Chester admits both civilly and criminally committed people, it’s the only maximum security mental health facility in the state. H.B. 100 has passed the House Human Services Committee.