The Ministry of Justice, provincial coroner and Saskatoon police are investigating an inmate’s death at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.
Ministry spokesman Drew Wilby says the man was on remand for about a month when he was found unresponsive in his bunk yesterday (Wed).
“Staff immediately sprung into action, they performed CPR on the individual, they tried to use Narcan, which all of our staff in corrections are trained with, they tried to use an artificial external defibrillator and they called 9-1-1,” he said. “Unfortunately this individual was pronounced deceased at 1:30 yesterday afternoon.”
Narcan, also known as naloxone, is a medication used to block and reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“If there is an opioid overdose it will attack the opioid, it will hopefully help to be an antidote to that,” Wilby explained. “Our standard practice now in facilities is if someone presents like this we will use Narcan…if it’s used it’s not going to have a negative impact on the individual really the impact can only be positive.
“And then again of course due to the prevalence of opioids in Saskatchewan and, in at times our facilities, it just makes sense to utilize that.”
Wilby says the unit where the individual was went into lockdown to help with the investigation. The man’s next of kin has been notified.
Wilby also noted they’ve “had some challenges in Saskatoon this week with the use of drugs.”
“We had 3 overdoses on Sunday evening due to drugs in an area where this individual was, so we have reason to believe that that’s likely what caused this death, however as we do further investigation into this that will all bear out and exactly what the cause of death was will come to light.” he added.
When asked about using body scanners in correctional centres, Wilby said they’re hoping to have a pilot project running at the Regina Correctional Centre by next spring.
“Once that’s done, obviously we’ll do an assessment on how it’s working, how it’s functioning within the facility and if successful we’ll seek to expand that around the province.”