Kinew James’ inquest jury gives 23 recommendations
Kinew James is shown in this undated family photo.
Published Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:19PM CST
Recruiting more indigenous guards and nurses, synchronizing clocks and installing cameras are just a few of the more than 20 recommendations a jury has filed at the inquest into a Saskatoon Regional Psychiatric Centre inmate’s death.
The jury released its findings and recommendations into Kinew James’ death Thursday evening to wrap up the two-week inquest, which took place at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel and Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench.
Several recommendations focused on the relationship between Canada’s prison system and indigenous people. One called for more indigenous staff at the psychiatric centre. Another called for the better adoption of indigenous restorative justice principles, and another called for the centre’s staff to be trained in aboriginal social history.
Other recommendations called for cameras to be installed in all common areas of Correctional Service Canada facilities; for the Regional Psychiatric Centre to record all calls; and for the centre to routinely synchronize clocks, cell call alarm times, time stamps on video and medical equipment, and radio frequency times.
James, who was diabetic, died on Jan. 20, 2013, of cardiac arrest due to high blood sugar, the jury determined. She was found unresponsive in her cell, but the jury officially ruled she died at Royal University Hospital.
The 35-year-old was serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter, assault, uttering threats, arson, mischief and obstruction of justice.
Several doctors, nurses and correctional officers testified at the inquest, but exact details on the times when nurses and officers responded to James’ cell the night she died were left blurry because the times recorded on nurses’ watches, the psychiatric centre clocks and by the ambulance service varied.
James, aside from diabetes, had a history of schizophrenia, self-harm and obesity, according to doctors who took the stand.
--- with files from Blair Farthing and Laura Woodward