A joint coroner’s inquest will be held into the deaths of two former Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre inmates, one in August 2015, the other in October 2016, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said Wednesday.
The inquest, announced by Dr. Rick Mann, regional supervising coroner for West Region, London Office, will probe the events surrounding the deaths of Floyd Deleary, 39, on Aug. 23, 2015, and Justin Thompson, 27, on Oct. 31, 2016.
Both died in hospital after being transferred from the troubled provincial jail, a ministry release said.
Few other details have been made available. The date and location of the inquiry will be released at a later date.
Mandatory under the Coroners Act, the inquest may see recommendations from the jury aimed at preventing similar deaths. According to the ministry, Dr. Curtis Fedoruk will preside as inquest coroner, while Laura Casey and Julian Roy will be counsel to the coroner.
News of the inquest comes less than a month after the death of a male inmate at the jail on Aug. 17, the eighth in the last four years.
London police are continuing to probe the death. It prompted renewed calls for the province to expedite the delivery of a long-awaited body scanner to EMDC.
The scanner isn’t expected to arrive at the jail until the fall.
The inquest is the second to be announced into the death of an EMDC inmate in a little over a year. Last August, an inquest was announced into the Dec. 23, 2014, death of 40-year-old Jamie High.
A five-day inquest into High’s death was held in November and resulted in nine recommendations from the jury, including that the jail install security monitors in each segregation cell, that the ministry review health care and staffing levels at EMDC, and that jail officers and nurses receive better training when it comes to handling inmates who have mental health issues or are undergoing substance withdrawal, according to a London Free Press report.
— With files from Matthew Trevithick and Natalie Lovie