Abstract

[This article was originally published in Healthcare Quarterly, Volume 9, Number 2.]

Secure hospital beds are vitally important for the assessment and treatment of mentally disordered accused persons. A forensic mental health system with an adequate level of hospital beds is essential for the courts and review boards to carry out of the mental disorder provisions of the Criminal Code. This article describes the results of a study that examined interprovincial differences in the structure of Canadian forensic mental health FMH inpatient programs. In total, 1523 hospital beds are designated for FMH programs in Canada. Across Canada, less than one (0.61) FMH hospital bed is available for every 10,000 adults in the general population, ranging from 0.37 in Manitoba to 1.08 in Nova Scotia. Interprovincial differences in the staffing and bed occupancy of Canadian FMH inpatient programs are also uncovered. The results of the present study confirm that interprovincial differences in the structure and organization of FMH inpatient programs exist in Canada.