Family of EMDC inmates who died pushing for change
Published Monday, May 6, 2019 4:14PM EDT
Winston Brightman is still dealing with raw emotion when it comes to the recent death of his son Sean inside the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre.
“No one deserves to die…EMDC is a death camp, and the government isn’t doing anything about it,” says Brightman.
Just over a month ago, 33-year-old Sean William Tourand-Brightman was in jail for breaching recognizance orders and was a week away from being released.
But he never made it out, becoming the 14th inmate to die in the past decade at the Exeter Road jail.
Winston was outside the London courthouse Monday, hoping to draw attention to the ongoing issue.
“I am out here to stand up for every mother and father who had children pass away in EMDC or any jail in Ontario.”
Brightman was also joining forces with Jessica Robinson, whose sister Laura passed away at EMDC in 2009.
Together they’ve been gathering thousands of petition signatures, hoping to get an emergency alert system for inmates.
“I'm requesting that a hard-wired button be put in every jail cell,” says Robinson. “So that due to understaffing or not knowing someone’s medical needs that if someone is dying they press a button and life-saving measures will come.”
Robinson and her family are also suing EMDC for negligence causing death. The action was originally filed seven years ago, but it’s only now approaching the date where the province needs to respond with the next course of action.
She says the last decade has been difficult, “There is no closure. Then with all the other deaths, it keeps dragging on like an open wound that will never heal.”
Winston says he’ll fight until justice is served for his son. He also feels for Robinson, who has been in this battle for 10 years.
“Our court system has to deal with it now. Not just put it under the rug, or down the road...it's now or never.”