Judge rules jails okay for mentally unfit offenders

Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer has ruled that an Ontario Court judge acted unreasonably when she prevented authorities from placing a mentally unfit offender in jail to await a hospital bed.

 According to a story in the Globe and Mail, laywers for the mentally ill offenders expressed disappointment in the Nordheimer judgement, telling the newspaper that the decision will reduce pressure on the province to expand hospital facilities.

Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health said it was a decision they had hoped for.

Nordheimer said it was unreasonable for CAMH to free up a bed immediately and police cells were unacceptable alternatives.

Despite the fact thatOntario’s psychiatric hospitals are running at capacity, the government intends to reduce the bed stock further. In London and St. Thomas about 70 beds will be lost when mental health services are reallocated from the Regional Mental Health Centre by 2014.

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