In 1978, the ombudsman of Ontario commissioned
Drs. Butler, Rowsell, and Long to investigate the Social Therapy
Unit at Oak Ridge and to evaluate the treatment programs,
including the MAPP. The result of the investigation was a public
report entitled Evaluative Study of the Social Therapy Unit,
Oak Ridge Division, Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre.
The ombudsman adopted the report.
 The authors of the report, who spent 36 hours at the
centre over a course of three days, described the MAPP program
Admission is on a basis of behaviour that demonstrates a severe relapse to
the members of the Social Therapy Unit. Generally speaking, this is acting
out, such as making threatening remarks or striking somebody; or acting
displaying suicidal behaviour. It can be prescribed for undermining (unde-
sirable destructive words or actions). Should a man not mix or talk or gen-
erally interact for more than what is thought to be a desirable period
of time, he will go to M.A.P., where he will have to interact. There was con-
siderable discrepancy as to whether ordinary criticism or exasperation
expressed in the course of group work or ward committees, would qualify
one for this treatment. Overall admission here is on the basis of behaviour
the group does not accept. All patients know the broad categories of such
behaviour or, if they do not, that the purpose of the M.A.P. program is to
make sure that they will.
The M.A.P. rules speak for themselves. There is no casual talk, in fact, the
man may speak only in a group to matters which are considered relevant.
The groups last all day with breaks. During the group, he sits on the terrazzo
floor with his feet straight out in front of him in the attention position,
his fingers are intertwined and he is given a square area of about three
square feet in front of him within which he may look. He must respond positively “feedback” positively, and participate in the prescribed M.A.P. way. He
may use nothing but good English. He may move only four times during a
session of about four hours, and then only after being given permission to do
so by the “teacher”. In the group in which we sat, a staff member was present. One patient flinched every now and then and we noticed his hands
were slightly swollen. During a break, in response to our questions, he told
us his cuffs were too tight. He was not allowed to move or to loosen them. As
required, his tone was positive as if he appreciated his plight. The cuffs were
of the standard automobile safety belt material with buckles. The patients
wore the “baby doll.” This is a long untearable strip of quilted material going
from front to back with a hole for the man’s head, similar in design to a poncho, but open at each side and fastened by ties on the edges.
Later in the day we spoke to several people, some of whom had been on the
list of those who had contacted the Ombudsman’s office. It seemed to them
that M.A.P. was beneficial and more humane than it had been in the past.
There were tales of brutality by various people, but never independently
corroborated. The possibilities of abuse are considerable. There were dark
stories of people being choked, being given injections of tranquillizers and
then lifted from the ground and bounced on the floor when they became
dozy, being made to stand cuffed, and then having their feet kicked out from
under them. The most seemingly offended person, however, still had good
things to say about this program in what seemed to be a spontaneous way