SB 483 (Cortese) Prone Restraints in School – Support

April 30, 2024

The Honorable Al Muratsuchi
Chair, Assembly Education Committee
California State Assembly
1020 N Street, Room 159
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Support of Senate Bill 483 (Cortese)

Dear Chair Muratsuchi,

Mental Health America of California (MHAC) is pleased to support Senate Bill 483 (Cortese), legislation which would prohibit in all California schools the use of “prone restraint”, a technique that physically or mechanically restrains students in a face down position.

MHAC is a peer-run organization leading the state in behavioral health public policy and advocacy since 1957. The mission of MHAC is to assist and encourage communities, families and individuals to experience hope, wellness and recovery from mental health and substance use disorder issues through voluntary services that are delivered in their local community with compassion and respect for everyone’s dignity and autonomy.

The use of prone restraints is a dangerous and sometimes lethal practice used on pupils if they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. This practice has also become synonymous as a method of discipline, with a disproportionate impact on pupils of color. Prone restraints do not provide pupils with any mental or behavioral health support and traumatizes them in the process.

For these reasons, we support Senate Bill 483 and ask for your “Aye” vote. If you or your staff have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at hstrunk@mhac.org, or our Director of Public Policy, Karen Vicari at kvicari@mhacofca.org.

In Community,

Heidi Strunk
President & CEO
Mental Health America of California