Two deaths this week at EMDC renew calls for change
LONDON, ONT. -- A lawyer and advocate for change at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) says he is disheartened by two recent deaths at the London facility.
Kevin Egan confirmed an inmate, a man in his 60s, died at the Exeter Road jail Wednesday morning.
Egan knew few details of how the man died, but the man’s death came 72 hours after a 26-year-old man died.
Egan, who has spoken with the man’s family members identified him as Tyler Lancha.
Egan says he was found unresponsive, inside EMDC, Sunday morning around 7 a.m.
"The night before he was throwing up. A nurse had advised correctional officers to keep an eye on him. And then at 3:30 in the morning he was throwing up again. It appears nothing was done to intervene or to seek medical attention at that time and then he was found unresponsive at seven in the morning.”
Since 2009, 18 inmates have died at EMDC, and Egan has dealt with the families of 15 of them.
“You know there are people who go in there to await a trial or for a bail hearing and they end up with broken jaws or fractured skulls, a whole list of injuries.”
A saddened and frustrated Egan says someone in government needs to listen to repeated inquest recommendations, and ultimately create a more “humane” environment for inmates.
"The ministry stands up and says we take these conditions very seriously and you know we're going to develop a plan and then nothing happens and then more people die and it's just a repeat news cycle.”
Egan is part of a $325-million lawsuit involving about thousands of EMDC inmates over a period of eight years.
The circumstances surrounding both deaths remain under investigation.
In a statement, the Ministry of the Solicitor General said, "When a death involving an inmate occurs, it is the subject of multiple investigations. It is not appropriate for the ministry to publicly comment further as a number of investigations are underway."