New facility tops EMDC death inquest recommendations
LONDON, ONT. -- The jury at a Coroner's Inquest looking at the opioid-related deaths of two inmates at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) says a new facility should be built.
The inquest was looking into the deaths of 39-year-old Floyd Deleary in Aug. 2015 and 27-year-old Justin Thompson in Oct. 2016.
Both were found to have toxic levels of fentanyl in their systems.
On Friday, the jury returned with a list of 80 recommendations.
At the top of that list, replacing EMDC with a "new, modern facility designed to adequately accommodate, with dignity, the inmate population."
It calls for the new facility to include space for training, treatment and services as well as an on-site infirmary.
The report also includes calls for improved vital sign monitoring, equipping staff with radios and more frequent security checks.
The jury is also calling on the province to fund the recommendations made in the report, including the new facility.
Friends and family react
Raquel Hilliker, Deleary's niece, tells CTV News she was happy to hear what the jury suggested.
"Especially recognizing the Indigenous people and what they need...being able to have access to identifying and dealing with mental health and addiction."
She says the entire process was emotional.
Kent and Liz Thompson, Justin's father and stepmother, hope the recommendations are implemented, but know it hinges on the final recommendation - provincial funding.
"They treat the inmates like cattle, it's sickening," Kent says.
Liz adds another key change is, "The naloxone is the big thing...hopefully the inmates are able to get the naloxone."