Robert K. v. Bell

Robert K. v. Bell was a federal class action brought by nine children who were transferred from the South Carolina Department of Youth Services to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health following attempted suicides at the state training school. Upon transfer, each child was subjected to prolonged periods of solitary confinement. Several of the children were also placed naked or in paper gowns, in four-point restraints, hands and feet bound to the four corners of their beds. State doctors also forcibly injected several of the children with vitamins and/or psychotropic drugs. In May 1984, state officials signed a consent decree that limits the use of isolation and restraints and prohibits the use of drugs as aversive therapy. The decree also awarded damages to the named plaintiffs.