Policy Bulletin

Policy Bulletin 422


To clarify and reinforce the role of the mental health professional in the use of the Pinel Restraint System (PRS) following incidents of self-injurious behaviour.


As per policy, health professionals, in line with professional standards, are involved throughout the PRS process, from a nursing mental health assessment upon completion of the application of restraints, a more comprehensive mental heath assessment as soon as possible following application of restraints by a mental health professional, ongoing assessment while the inmate is in restraints, and mental health assessment following the removal of restraints. These assesments are in addition to constant observation by a Correctional Officer/Primary Worker or mental health professional in Regional Treatment Centres.

As per CD 843, the Institutional Head authorizes the application, reduction and removal of the PRS in accordance with the Situation Management Model in situations where an inmate is engaged in self-injury.

The Institutional Head also ensures that all staff who have regular interaction with the inmate are informed in a timely manner of the application of restraints. This accountability ensures the safety of inmates during times when mental health professionals are not immediately available while still ensuring that an interdisciplinary approach is used.

The use of PRS is not intended to be the primary intervention in response to an incident of self-injury, and it does not replace efforts to understand and address the underlying causes of the behaviour. Mental health professionals are expected to be active collaborators with operations staff throughout any period of restraint, including the decision to apply, reduce and remove restraints.


Roles and responsibilities are detailed in the policy document. These have not changed since the last review of this CD.


Original Signed by:
Michele Brenning
Assistant Commissioner, Health Services / Commissaire adjointe, Services de santé

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.