Elizabeth Fry Society argues to join Kinew James inquest

A group that speaks for women in prison wants the chance to speak at an inquest into the death of Kinew James, a woman that died in the Regional Psychiatric Centre in 2013.

James died at Regional Psychiatric Centre in 2013

Kinew James died at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in 2013. (CBC)

The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies is in a Saskatoon courtroom today trying to get a judge to overturn a coroner's decision.

The group wants to participate in an inquest into the 2013 death of Kinew James. The 35-year-old died at the Regional Psychiatric Centre of an apparent heart attack.

She was found unresponsive in her cell and taken to hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. 

In a federal Corrections investigation report, inmates in neighbouring cells alleged staff ignored her calls for help.

In November, coroner Tim Hawryluk the inquest denied the advocacy group standing.

"I have concluded that your clients do not have a substantial interest in this inquest," he wrote at the time.

Elizabeth Fry appealed that ruling and made both oral and written arguments at Court of Queen's Bench this morning.

Lawyer Gillian Gough said that Elizabeth Fry represents the interests of women in jail and prison across the country and has "substantial, special knowledge.

"It would bring a deeper, different level of scrutiny," said Gough.

The inquest is scheduled to begin April 25.