§ 115.378 Interventions and disciplinary sanctions for residents

(a) A resident may be subject to disciplinary sanctions only pursuant to a formal disciplinary process following an administrative finding that the resident engaged in resident-on-resident sexual abuse or following a criminal finding of guilt for resident-on-resident sexual abuse.

(b) Any disciplinary sanctions shall be commensurate with the nature and circumstances of the abuse committed, the resident’s disciplinary history, and the sanctions imposed for comparable offenses by other residents with similar histories. In the event a disciplinary sanction results in the isolation of a resident, agencies shall not deny the resident daily large-muscle exercise or access to any legally required educational programming or special education services. Residents in isolation shall receive daily visits from a medical or mental health care clinician. Residents shall also have access to other programs and work opportunities to the extent possible.

(c) The disciplinary process shall consider whether a resident’s mental disabilities or mental illness contributed to his or her behavior when determining what type of sanction, if any, should be imposed.

(d) If the facility offers therapy, counseling, or other interventions designed to address and correct underlying reasons or motivations for the abuse, the facility shall consider whether to offer the offending resident participation in such interventions. The agency may require participation in such interventions as a condition of access to any rewards-based behavior management system or other behavior-based incentives, but not as a condition to access to general programming or education.

(e) The agency may discipline a resident for sexual contact with staff only upon a finding that the staff member did not consent to such contact.

(f) For the purpose of disciplinary action, a report of sexual abuse made in good faith based upon a reasonable belief that the alleged conduct occurred shall not constitute falsely reporting an incident or lying, even if an investigation does not establish evidence sufficient to substantiate the allegation.

(g) An agency may, in its discretion, prohibit all sexual activity between residents and may discipline residents for such activity. An agency may not, however, deem such activity to constitute sexual abuse if it determines that the activity is not coerced.

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