Among the jury’s recommendations were an emergency help button to be placed within easy reach of an inmate lying in bed; the creation of a detoxification center at the prison; and having an addictions worker present when a person goes through intake.
One of the inquest’s key witnesses, a nurse who assessed Wescoup, was emotional when she described a lack of communication between when someone is arrested, placed in police cells, and then taken to Pine Grove. The jury recommended the establishment of a comprehensive database between facilities to ensure no one is left in the dark or guessing a patient’s medical history.
Talk with paNOW, Nicole Sauer, NDP Critic for Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, said the entire investigation is a tragedy and should never take place. Applauding the work of the jury, Sauer expressed concern that the recommendations would be put on the shelf and gather dust.
“Doing everything we can in our facilities to ensure that those who are sent to these facilities can safely detox and hopefully receive the necessary treatment so that they do not relapse into addiction when they leave the facility is extremely important and should be the number one priority for the ministry,” she said.
Sauer explained that she was very excited to see the recommendation for a dedicated drug rehabilitation center and hopes it will be implemented immediately, not only in Pine Grove, but in all prisons in Saskatchewan.
Wescoup’s father promised to follow up with the government to ensure the recommendations are implemented.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell