GVI inmate dies after being found unresponsive in cell
Published Wednesday, July 6, 2016 5:47PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, July 7, 2016 6:17AM EDT
An inmate at Kitchener’s prison for women has died two days after being found unresponsive in her cell.
According to a spokesperson Correctional Service Canada, 30-year-old Terry Baker was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon at St. Mary’s General Hospital.
Baker had been found unresponsive in her cell at the Grand Valley Institution on Monday, the spokesperson said, at which point prison staff began performing CPR and contacting emergency services.
Baker had spent more than a decade at Grand Valley. She was serving a sentence for first-degree murder.
Correctional Service Canada will conduct an internal review of the circumstances around Baker’s death, the spokesperson said.
Police and the coroner have also been notified.
Kim Pate, the CEO of the Elizabeth Fry Society – which advocates for women in Canadian prisons – says she is “extremely concerned” about similarities between the death of Baker and that of Ashley Smith.
Smith, 19, strangled herself to death inside the same prison in 2007.
An inquest into her death found it to be a homicide – though their decision is not a legal finding of guilt – and issued 104 recommendations on how the prison system could better deal with mentally ill, self-harming women.
Pate said the Elizabeth Fry Society had been dealing with issues relating to Baker’s treatment while in custody since at least 2009, including self-injuring tendencies.
“Certainly she had been on suicide watch and had self-injured many times in the past,” Pate said.
According to Pate, a visit to Grand Valley in late June resulted in concerns being raised about how often Baker was being placed in restraints.
Baker was being held in segregation, Pate said.
With reporting by Rosie Del Campo and Nicole Lampa and files from The Canadian Press