Inquests launched into 2 suicides at Ottawa jail
Justin St. Amour died in December 2016, Cleve Geddes died in February 2017
The province has launched inquests into the suicides of two mentally ill men at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.
Justin St. Amour, 31, died in hospital on Dec. 8, 2016, after he had been transferred from the jail.
And Cleve Gordon Geddes, 30, died in hospital on Feb. 10, 2017, after he had also been transferred from the facility.
Louise McNaughton-Filion, the supervising coroner for Ottawa, announced the mandatory inquests Wednesday. Dates and locations have not yet been set.
Events surrounding the deaths will be examined, and a news release said recommendations could be made to prevent similar deaths in the future.
'Both were being held in segregation'
"Both of these men were being held on remand, which is to say they had not been convicted of a crime," Paul Champ, the lawyer representing both of the men's families, told CBC News in an interview in March.
"Both were known to suffer from schizophrenia and had been on suicide watch at OCDC. Both were being held in segregation, which is a really serious issue for people with mental illness. And both took their lives by the same method: hanging. They both hung themselves in their cells."
St. Amour's mother, Laureen St. Amour, said in a previous interview that her son had been living on the street for a decade before he was arrested in 2016 for threatening his disability support worker.
Geddes's sister, Sigrid Geddes, said her brother had also been grappling with schizophrenia for about 10 years when he was arrested in 2017, and that he struggled with anger issues because of ongoing frustrations trying to manage the disease.
"When something happened that he didn't like he would lose his temper. And so there were a couple of situations where he did threaten people in town," Sigrid Geddes said.