Days after it was learned two patients who were found not criminally responsible for violent crimes went missing from the Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the hospital’s CEO says an external review will now be conducted.
“We are actively reviewing our own processes and our communication procedures with the police, the Ontario Review Board, our community and other partners,” according to prepared remarks from Dr. Catherine Zahn posted on the CAMH website Wednesday afternoon.
“I am announcing an external review of CAMH’s process for passes and privileges involving forensic patients. The review will look at incidents over the past several months to inform CAMH practice in the context of the broader forensic psychiatry system, and to provide concrete recommendations for our organization.”
The statement said the review, which is aimed to be completed by the end of the year, will focus on passes and privileges for patients in forensic units.
“The review will look at incidents over the past several months to inform CAMH practice in the context of the broader forensic psychiatry system, and to provide concrete recommendations for our organization,” the website said.
Toronto police confirmed that 27-year-old Ahmed Sualim briefly walked away from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Monday, only to be found several hours later.
Sualim was found not criminally responsible on multiple counts of armed robbery and theft related to a string of robberies in January 2012.
His disappearance comes weeks after Zhebin Cong, convicted of murder, escaped CAMH and fled the country undetected.
Both Cong and Sualim were found to pose a significant risk to the public during recent hearings with the Ontario Review Board, which annually examines all cases involving people found not criminally responsible.
Cong’s disappearance prompted both CAMH and Toronto police to launch reviews of their protocols and led to calls for explanations from Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
— With files from The Canadian Press