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Key recommendations from the jury at the Ashley Smith inquest

The inside of the prison where Ashley Smith was held, in Kitchener, Ont. is shown on Oct. 19, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, D-Cst. D. Buckley
December 19, 2013 - 11:16 AM

TORONTO - The jury at the Ashley Smith inquest found the self-harming teen's prison death was a homicide. It made 104 recommendations aimed at preventing similar tragedies. Among them, the jury recommended:

— That female inmates with serious mental health issues and/or self-injurious behaviour serve their sentences in a federally operated treatment facility, not a security-focused prison-like environment.

— That there is no requirement for frontline staff to seek authorization if they determine immediate intervention is required to save a life.

— That indefinite solitary confinement should be abolished, long-term segregation of more than 15 days should be prohibited for female inmates and the conditions of segregation should be the least restrictive as possible.

— That all female inmates be assessed by a psychologist within 72 hours of admission to any penitentiary or treatment facility to determine whether any mental health issues or self-injurious behaviours exists.

— That there be adequate staffing of qualified mental health care providers with expertise and experience in place at every women's institution.

— That all staff providing mental health care report and be accountable to health-care professionals, not security.

— That female inmates be accommodated in the region closest to their families and social supports.

— That Correctional Services Canada move toward a restraint-free environment and any inmate placed in restraints be given one-on-one therapeutic support for the entire time in restraints.

— That inmates who have experienced mental health issues within the corrections system be involved in training, planning, research and policy development for mental health care for female inmates.

— That Smith's experience within the correction system be taught as a case study to all Correctional Service management and staff at all levels.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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