Doors of users’ rooms locked at night at Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal | Protecteur du Citoyen
June 27, 2016

Doors of users’ rooms locked at night at Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal


Within the context of an investigation concerning Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, on its own initiative the Québec Ombudsman examined the question of locking the doors of patients’ rooms at night. Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal is a hospital that provides third-line forensic psychiatric services.

The Québec Ombudsman is aware of the security requirements that the institute must satisfy. In order to ensure the safety of all the users at the institute as well as that of the staff, this applies to its mission and its night staff. 

However, the fact remains that systematically locking the doors at night, without reporting it as a means of control, is a breach of the law and of ministerial policy. The Québec Ombudsman feels that some reflection is in order so as to determine whether certain users require special conditions and, if not, to cease any contravening practices.

As a result, it made the following recommendation to the institute and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, which could enlist the Ministère de la Sécurité publique and the Ministère de la Justice du Québec as needed in order to ensure that the rights of all users are upheld:

  • Work together to analyze when and under which conditions the locking of doors of institute patients at night is allowed and then ensure that all contravening practices are stopped.

The Québec Ombudsman asked to be informed about the outcome of this step by July 20, 2016. 

The managers of Institut Philippe-Pinel accepted the Québec Ombudsman’s recommendation.