“She said, ‘alright.’ So I let him go and while she’s trying to use her sweet, motherly good-cop voice Eddy does what anyone who actually knows Eddy will tell you that he’ll do in that situation. He ran after her as fast as you’ve seen anyone go, trying—naturally—to beat the ever-living hell out of her. She actually ran outside, where she should have been all along, and I put Eddy back in the hold.”
“Was she outside because that’s where she belonged?” I asked, but I knew the answer.
“Oh, no,” Ran said. “Just running scared. And I couldn’t help with her because I was in the back of the house with the rest of the guys following the program by keeping them away from Eddy. Not only for their safety but also because Jake and Rod will start antagonizing Eddy when he gets like that, which makes him worse. They do that because they’ve never had to deal with him. It’s our job to protect these guys from the natural consequences of their actions.”
“Long story short,” Jason cut back in, “we got it all settled and I wrote it up just like it happened. I even did the safety officer the favor of leaving her out of the incident report. I didn’t lie; I just focused on what was happening with Eddy. There’s no obligation to write anyone into an IR unless they have involvement. And she didn’t.”
“She wanted to deal with him,” I said. “That seems like direct involvement to me.”
“Remember, according to policy, if a resident is in a hold you have to release them every fifteen minutes. Permanently if they’ve chilled out and you put them right back in if they haven’t. At that point Eddy had been in at least that long.”
“So you wrote it up as a mandatory release without mentioning her,” I said.
“Yeah. I had to let Eddy go anyway and to write her into it would just make her look bad for not following his program. I even described the hold and noted that it was not approved. No lies.”
“Unapproved actions have been taken before,” Ran said. “What usually happens is admin gets together and reviews the incident. They decide if a change needs to be made to the behavior plan to make it more feasible to follow or if the staff needs to be disciplined for an avoidable violation.”
“Like if they were going to make a change with Eddy they might give him a designer hold,” I said. “Something involving at least two staff.”
Ran tipped his hand in acknowledgement. “Anyway, the investigator may call you and have you review the plan to make sure you’re familiar with it, properly trained and all that; but generally if you do your best they’ll understand that things don’t always work according to the book.”
“This is the first time I’ve been called in for an actual sit-down investigative review over something like this. Interviews like this tend to happen only if there’s been an accusation of outright abuse or something,” Jason said.
“If everything about the incident is fairly clear, admin’s response will usually measure up. A lot of times though it can be luck of the draw,” said Ran. “Sometimes you get investigated for not following the behavior program, sometimes not. Sometimes you get a phone call; sometimes a face-to-face review; sometimes you get put out on administrative leave, if the allegation is really bad. And you’re here, so it’ll get sorted,” he said to Jason. Pondering the issue had somehow tinged Ran’s brightness.
“So what happens depends on how catastrophic the incident is and how they interpret your intent,” I prodded.
“Right, among other things, ” Jason responded. “So a lot can depend on what kind of spin my SO friend put on things, but I’m not worried.” Ran was silent and introspective.