An inmate has died at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC), according to the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
A statement from the ministry to Global News on Saturday read, “the ministry can confirm that paramedics attended (EMDC) on Wednesday evening, and an inmate was pronounced deceased.”
Details regarding the death were not provided as investigations are ongoing.
Kevin Egan, a partner at McKenzie Lake Lawyers who represents families of deceased inmates, says there have been at least 16 deaths in the past 10 years at the facility.
“Until things improve, we’re going to continue to see deaths at EMDC.”
He says he also has information that the individual died shortly after admission and that he was found during nightly medication rounds.
“If people were better supervised, this is a death that might very well have been prevented.”
Due to COVID-19, changes were made at the detention centre, such as allowing non-violent inmates to be released early, but Egan says that’s not enough.
“The overcrowding conditions at EMDC were significantly lessened in 2020, (but) the place is still filthy and (there) aren’t proper programs to assist in rehabilitation,” he said.
“(Inmates) are treated like garbage, and (they) lose hope.”
According to the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the Office of the Chief Coroner is conducting an investigation.
The ministry is also conducting an internal investigation to determine whether all ministry policies and procedures were followed.