The Department of Justice has completed an internal review into the death of an offender on Nov. 7, 2016.
The man was admitted to the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth on June 21, 2016 on remand. On Nov. 2, at 7:05 a.m., he was found unresponsive in his cell. First aid was administered until paramedics took over about 15 minutes later and transported him to hospital at 7:44 a.m. where he died five days later.
An autopsy conducted by the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service found the cause of death to be complications resulting from an accidental drug overdose.
The man appeared on camera for the last time on Nov. 1 at 10:30 p.m. He was alone in his cell and looking out the window of the cell door. Nothing unusual was observed that evening or overnight.
Through the investigation, Justice staff learned that the offender consumed prescription drugs gained from another offender on Nov. 1. As well, he was known to save up his drugs and to take them at one time.
“We understand this situation is painful for his family,” said Justice Minister Mark Furey. “We continue to work with the Nova Scotia Health Authority to improve health and safety in our correctional facilities.”
As a result of the review, Corrections Services will meet with Health Authority staff to review protocols for dispensing medications and for sharing information to protect offenders’ health and continue to work with staff on critical incident and stress management.
A new audit process has been developed to ensure that person and area searches are conducted.
The review’s findings can be found at www.novascotia.ca/just.
The Department of Justice is committed to being as open and transparent as possible about major incidents involving people in its custody. Through the Disclosure of Information on Major Incidents Involving Persons in Custody policy, the department publicly discloses major incidents including death, assaults resulting in hospitalization, and drug seizures.
Source: Media Release