Feds: Conway center puts children at risk of death

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department is asking a federal judge to halt new admissions of school-age children at the Conway Human Development Center, claiming that the facility "exposes residents to death and injury."

In a court filing Tuesday, Justice Department attorneys claim that one patient fatally overdosed because of "medication mismanagement" and that an 8-year-old child suffered kidney damage after he received a high dose of Lithium.

The filing also says the center unnecessarily uses straitjackets, restraint chairs and a device called a "papoose board" - a padded board intended to immobilize someone's legs, arms and torso.

The center has more than 500 residents and is 1 of 6 residential facilities operated by the state.

The lawsuit was filed last year under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.

DHS spokeswoman Julie Munsell declined to comment because the agency hasn't fully reviewed Tuesday's court filings.

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