CAMH changing day-pass system, installing fences after review of escaped patients


TORONTO — A prominent Toronto psychiatric hospital says it will implement all recommendations made by an external panel that probed recent cases of patients with a violent history escaping the facility.

Catherine Zahn, president of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said the hospital will build new infrastructure and change its system of patient passes.

CAMH announced it will also communicate more often with police and build an outdoor area enclosed by fences.

The changes are among 12 recommendations made by a panel after multiple people escaped from the hospital’s forensic facility, which treats people found not criminally responsible for violent crimes.

Zhebin Cong was a patient at the hospital who escaped in July and fled to China after he was found not criminally responsible for the second-degree murder of his roommate.

Adalsteinn Brown, who chaired the review, said the recommendations should improve community safety and help patients complete their treatment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Dec. 18, 2019.

The Canadian Press