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NS Department of Health & Wellness won't use GPS to track forensic mental health patients, cites issues raised in Health Law Institute report

Posted by School of Law on January 22, 2015 in News, Health Law Institute

The Nova Scotia government has decided not to use tracking technology for forensic mental health patients after three reports raised multiple concerns about it.

The government requested evidence and analysis on the use of electronic monitoring for patients on community passes following a homicide in April 2012, allegedly by a forensic mental health patient while absent without leave.

The Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation produced a report using evidence on the effectiveness of GPS monitoring for mental health forensic rehabilitation patients, and another from interviews from Australia and the United Kingdom where electronic monitoring programs have been used. The Health Law Institute provided a report analyzing potential legal issues, and concluded that the use of electronic monitoring in this context would be unlikely to withstand legal challenge.

> Health Law Institute Statement on Electronic Montoring of Forensic Mental Health Patients