Investigation launched following inmate death at South West Detention Centre
Outbreak declared at the centre by Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
Ontario's Ministry of the Solicitor General is investigating the recent death of an inmate at the South West Detention Centre.
A spokesperson for the ministry said paramedics brought an inmate from the jail to hospital on Dec. 7. The inmate died there on Dec. 18, however the Ministry would not provide any details around the cause of death.
Anytime an inmate dies, multiple investigations are launched, said the spokesperson.
"The Office of the Chief Coroner conducts a death investigation to determine cause and manner of death. The ministry conducts an internal investigation to determine whether all ministry policies and procedures were followed with respect to the care and custody of the deceased. The local police may investigate to determine if the death was the result of any criminal activity," said Andrew Morrison in an email to CBC News.
A coroner's inquest takes place each time an inmate dies, and the ministry explained that if cause of death is anything outside of natural causes, and inquest "would be at the discretion of the coroner."
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit did declare an outbreak at the facility, at the end of November, with Thursday's data showing 24 cases linked to the centre.
WECHU defines an outbreak in this scenario as two or more employees testing positive for COVID-19 with reasonable time to suspect transmission in the workplace.
The ministry said they are aware of this outbreak.
They said all new inmates are screened and tested for COVID-19, with their consent, upon arriving at any detention facility. They are also segregated for 14 days and tested again on day 10.
Any inmate who tests positive is isolated and receives care.
The ministry also has allocated COVID-19 vaccines available to inmates.
They also say employees of detention centres who are not fully vaccinated must provide "regular" antigen testing.