Inmate at Drumheller Institution dies while in custody

FILE: An aerial view of the Drumheller Institution.

Officials are looking into how an inmate at Drumheller Institution died while in custody.

A notice was posted online on April 16, 2021 explaining a man who had been at the prison since Dec. 9, 2020, died on April 15, 2021.

Few other details were shared.

Maureen Quintal with assistant warden management services at Drumheller Institution was not able to say whether the death was considered suspicious. It’s not believed the death was related to COVID-19, Quintal added.

The man was serving a two-year sentence for possession of property obtained by crime, and possession of scheduled I/II substances for the purpose of trafficking.

According to the online notice, the deceased’s next of kin have been notified and asked that his name not be released.

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Correctional Services Canada (CSC) will look into what happened — as is standard in all cases involving the death of an inmate.

Drumheller Institution is a federal facility southeast of Drumheller. It is described on the CSC webpage as a “clustered site (medium/minimum security institution).” The medium-security site has the capacity for 582 inmates, and the minimum-security site has the capacity for 122 inmates.

According to the CSC site, between 2011 to 2016, an average of 58 inmates per year have died while in the custody of the CSC. Half have died from natural causes, and suicide was the leading cause of death outside of that.

Quintal said the last inmate death to occur at Drumheller Institution was on Dec. 7, 2020 when a 50-year-old man named Mark Kelly died.

Police and the coroner have been notified of the death as per CSC policy.

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