Journal article

Locked mental health wards: the answer to absconding?

Bernadette McSherry

J Law Med | Published : 2014


A recent decision by the Queensland government to lock its 16 mental health inpatient facilities has met with condemnation by a number of professional bodies. This column canvasses some of the legal and ethical issues relating to locked wards and provides an overview of the literature on whether or not locking wards reduces absconding. It is argued that any benefits in preventing absconding through locking all mental health inpatient facilities is outweighed by the adverse effects locked wards have on those detained.

University of Melbourne Researchers