From The Asahi Shimbun
January 9 2023
KAGOSHIMA – In 2022, abuse such as locking up mentally disabled residents for long periods of time was found at a support facility for the disabled run by the social welfare organisation Aotokai in Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima City. The city recognised 10 cases of abuse and issued administrative guidance.
According to the corporation, the facility accepts residents with severe behavioural disorders. Mainly between May and July last year, five staff members committed abusive acts against five residents.
According to the corporation’s investigation, in the lock-in incident, a staff member took one of the residents to his room, locked the door and prevented him from leaving for approximately four hours. The staff member is said to have explained that he was trying to protect other users because they had become violent inside the facility, but he was not given lunch during that time, and the corporation says, “It was an inappropriate response. The corporation states that “there was a lack of education for the staff”.
The incident was discovered in June last year after a number of employees reported it to the corporation. The city conducted an on-site investigation in September of the same year and confirmed that there were other acts at the facility, such as head-butting and abusive language during haircuts. The city did not disclose any details other than that it found abuse, saying that it could not answer the details of individual acts.
The corporation had also received administrative guidance from the city in 2020 for abuse by its staff, including kicking users. According to the city, the contents of the improvement plan submitted by the corporation at the time were “properly addressed”, but the city instructed the corporation to verify the effectiveness of the plan again. The improvement plan in response to the latest abuse was submitted by the corporation at the end of last year.