Tuesday, March 23, 2010

State legislation: Massachusetts- Bills reported from Committee that would regulate aversive therapies and study behavior modification in Massachusetts

A news report states that two bills have been reported favorably from the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities and are now headed to the Massachusetts Senate.

The bills are,
S. 45: An Act relative to Level IV Treatment Interventions,
and a companion bill,
S. 46: An Act Creating a Special Commission on Behavior Modification

S. 45 would classify and define detailed oversight of Level IV treatment interventions (those utilizing aversives as a last resort for dangerous or self-destructive behaviors which have failed to be resolved under less intrusive interventions) in facilities receiving public funding,
  • at the state level  by a statewide committee of specific composition,
  • at a facility level by a facility peer-review committee of specific composition, and would require
  • direct supervision and physical presence as specified in the bill.
Standards of procedures, safeguards, required documentations, competencies of the committees and supervisors, and scope of use are defined in S.45.

S. 46 would establish a special commission to investigate and make legislative recommendation on the adequacy and effectiveness of laws and and regulations governing use of behavior modification techniques, including aversive procedures and the principles of applied behavior analysis across all public or private agencies in Massachusetts receiving public funding, including state agencies and contracted providers.

After its investigation, the commission would develop and recommend a unified set of standards for the use of behavior modification procedures in all agencies and programs licensed, funded and/or regulated in Massachusetts. The standards would include the minimum qualifications for staff involved in the development and direct implementation of aversive procedures and the review and monitoring requirements for such interventions. The commission is also required file a report the results of the investigation and recommendations with the clerks of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives by a specified date.

The composition of the commission would be the following state officers or designees:
Governor, Senate President, Speaker of the House, Senate and House Chairs of the Joint Committee on Children and Families, the Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court. the Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services, the Commissioner of the Department Mental Health , the Commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care, the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, the Commissioner of the 26 Department of Youth Services, the Executive Director of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, the Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Mental Retardation, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Psychological Association, and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst or Certified Behavior Analyst to be appointed by the Governor. The Governor would also appoint at least one disability advocate and one service provider whose agency conducts behavioral intervention programming.

For further information
Two shock therapy bills headed to Senate
GateHouse News Service
Posted Mar 16, 2010 @ 09:00 AM

General Court of the State of Massachusetts

© 2010 Regina G. Claypool-Frey
Disclaimer: This blog publishes news and announcements only as a service to interested persons, the posts are the responsibility of the individual author, and unless otherwise noted do not constitute nor claim to represent the official position of ABA International, its officers or associated entities. This blog makes no representation as to the accuracy of the report and readers are strongly encouraged to consult and reference the primary sources noted.
550 W. Centre Ave., Portage MI 49024-5364
Phone: (269) 492-9310 | Fax: (269) 492-9316 | E-mail: mail@abainternational.org