COVID-19: Get updates on the law and legal services on Steps to Justice

Change font size:


  • Increase
  • Decrease
  • Normal

Current Zoom: 100%

Mental Illness, Criminal Offences, & Deportation

Step 1: Choose language Step 2: Choose from available formats and options
Available formats and options

Helping a client who is detained

People who are not Canadian citizens can be arrested and detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for various reasons. They may be detained because they are considered a danger to the public or a "flight risk" (unlikely to show up for hearing dates or removal).

Limited access to treatment
Someone who is detained might not be able to access the community-based treatment and supports they need. They could be held in a provincial jail where there is limited access to treatment.

If your client is detained, with their consent you can:

  • work with their lawyer to find community mental health services and supports for your client as alternatives to detention,
  • try to connect them with an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team to help them get released,
  • communicate with the detention facility staff to make sure your client's health needs are being met, and
  • advocate for your client's transfer to a forensic hospital or a correctional treatment centre if their mental health is deteriorating and release is unlikely.