The inquest into the death of 35-year-old Kinew James in January 2013 concluded with a jury bringing forward 23 recommendations.
Their report looks at measures to improve surveillance and communication at the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC) where James died, while addressing relationships with indigenous people in correctional facilities.
Recommendations include recording calls from patient cells and ensuring video cameras are working and subject to regular and random auditing.
Jurors also recommend that watches, clocks and equipment time codes be synchronized at the RPC.
The report called for more indigenous staff at the RPC and for Correctional Service Canada (CSC) to integrate more indigenous principles of restorative justice in its facilities.
“Everything looks so positive and for me,” James’s mother, Grace Campbell, said of the recommendations.
“I knew she would like that so it doesn’t happen to another person,” she added.
James was found unresponsive in her cell and declared dead in hospital in January 2013
She died of cardiac arrest due to hyperglycemia, resulting from poorly-managed diabetes.
The jury determined James’s death was natural and in line with the pathologist’s findings.
James was approaching the end of an aggregate 15-year sentence for manslaughter, assault, uttering threats and other charges.
Josephine de Whytell, counsel for James’s mother, hoped for a broader scope to the inquest, including the root causes as to why James was incarcerated in the first place.
“We weren’t able to get out the systemic issues that we would’ve liked to. Having said that, the recommendations that we did get were fantastic,” de Whytell said.
The CSC will issue a full response to the recommendations after thoroughly reviewing them, according to Jeff Campbell, prairie region communications manager with the CSC.
“We’re going to issue our full response after we’ve done a full review of all those recommendations,” Campbell said.
Campbell didn’t have a timeline for when the response will be issued.