Locked mental health wards: The answer to absconding?

Bernadette McSherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Law and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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