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Jury makes recommendations at end of inquest into Indigenous inmate’s death

Inmates say that Kinew James, who died of an apparent heart attack, was denied timely medical assistance.

The inquest into the death of an Indigenous woman who was found unresponsive in her cell at the Saskatoon Regional Psychiatric Centre has wrapped up with the jury making 20 recommendations.

The inquest was told that Kinew James, 35, suffered cardiac arrest but also had mismanaged diabetes and a history of schizophrenia, self-harm and obesity.

James' fellow inmates told the Elizabeth Fry Society, an advocacy group for women in the justice system, that she had asked for help from staff numerous times on the day she died.

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On Thursday, the jury recommended recruiting more indigenous guards and nurses, adopting indigenous restorative justice principles, training staff in aboriginal social history.

The jury also called for cameras to be installed in all common areas of Correctional Service Canada facilities; for the Regional Psychiatric Centre to record all calls; and for the centre to routinely synchronize clocks, cell call alarm times and time stamps on video and medical equipment.

James had been serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter, assault, uttering threats, arson, mischief and obstruction of justice.

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