The lack of adequate health care is said to have played a role in the deaths of several inmates at the Montreal Detention Center, commonly known as “Bordeaux Prison,” in recent years.
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That’s according to coroner’s reports from The Globe and Mail, which have looked at deaths at the facility over the past decade.
Remember that after every death in the detention center, a coroner prepares a report. Although the majority of cases are suicides, six deaths are said to be cases of deficiencies in physical health care, including delaying or refusing treatment for sick prisoners.
In the latest case, where a lack of care preceded a death in Bordeaux, a 64-year-old prisoner complained of abdominal pain for more than ten days before being rushed to hospital. Christian Barbier “probably died of fulminant hepatitis” in March 2021, according to a coroner’s report from April 2022.
“It would have been desirable if he had been taken to the hospital more quickly,” wrote coroner Éric Lépine. This could have “assured him a less painful and more dignified end of life”.
Mr. Lépine recommended that management “re-evaluate” the quality of care provided to Mr. Barbier and order a regulatory investigation. These investigations are ongoing, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
Coroner Éric Lépine was not the first to make such recommendations following deaths at Bordeaux, Quebec’s largest correctional facility. In an email to The Globe and Mail, Sandra Lehalle, a professor at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Criminology, complained that correctional officers seem to ignore comments from coroners.
“Unfortunately, the same issues continue to appear,” she wrote. Correctional facilities do not adequately incorporate the lessons learned from past deaths into their practices.”
Bordeaux prison was recently embroiled in drama after an illegally detained young black man, Nicous D’Andre Spring, died on December 24 following intervention by correctional officers. The Quebec Chief Coroner has also announced a public inquiry into these files.