Rally held for those who have died inside the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre
Published Sunday, June 3, 2018 7:34PM EDT
They were there to push for change at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre.
Since 2009, 13 inmates have died inside the facility on Exeter Road in London and on Sunday family members came with 13 crosses representing those who passed away.
Jan Pigeau says her son, James, died of a fentanyl overdose inside the jail. “Enough is enough,” she says. “I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
Representatives of nine families took part in the call for change which was organized by Pigeau. “How does it feel, returning here? I hate it. I hate this place with a passion.”
Pigeau says she’ll never forget the moment she learned her son died in the jail. “There’s nothing worse than having an officer coming to your door on a Sunday morning and saying ‘your son is dead.’”
Inmates have died by suicide, homicide, overdoses or natural causes. Lawyer Kevin Egan is handling a class action suit on behalf of inmates, former inmates and loved ones.
Egan says a number of issues contribute to the precarious conditions inside the jail. “Understaffing, overcrowding. A culture within the institution where there’s violence. Drugs seem to be ignored or condoned.”
After gathering on the steps of the jail, family members placed the crosses at the edge of Exeter Road to remind those passing of the lives lost inside.