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Judge urges jail reforms

A provincial judge is proposing changes and improvements to Manitoba jails.

They affect how staff in Manitoba jails receive complaints and concerns from inmates, their medical record-keeping and the hours nursing staff work at Headingley Correctional Centre.

Judge Robert Heinrichs's inquest report regarding the accidental death of Donald Ray Moose, 32, was released Wednesday.

Moose, a diabetic with heart disease, died in Grace Hospital on Oct. 2, 2009. He was rushed there from HCC.

A forensic pathologist ultimately found Moose's cause of death was coronary artery disease, with elevated levels of the medications amitripyline and nortriptyline as a contributing cause.

In an 88-page report, Heinrichs pieced together the series of events leading up to Moose's hospitalization, death and autopsy.

He found no fault with corrections staff or emergency medical workers.

The judge did, however, find problems and gaps in communication between HCC staff and inmates as well as issues with medical records and how they are kept.

In response, Heinrichs recommends the province take action on the following fronts:

  •  Formalizing a reporting system so complaints and concerns voiced by inmates are heard by jail staff.
  •  That all provincial jails strive to improve their medical record-keeping, including expanding the use of electronic documentation as much as possible. This effort should include an ability to share jail health records with hospital emergency rooms.
  •  HCC should expand nurse staffing to 11 p.m. (and possibly around the clock) as soon as possible.
  • Manitoba Corrections should develop a public health information program geared to educating inmates about heart disease, the leading cause of death in Canada.

 

'Car-surfing' charges dropped

A Winnipeg man accused in an alleged "car-surfing" case that killed a 23-year-old Elie man no longer faces charges in the death.

Paul Mackenzie Gillis, 32, appeared in provincial court this week and pleaded guilty to impaired driving and failing to stay at the scene of an accident on the morning of Feb. 11, 2012.

The Crown dropped charges alleging he was impaired and driving dangerously, causing the death of Brodie Chabot.

No reasons for abandoning the more serious allegations were disclosed.

The official RCMP synopsis of the investigation says officers in the Headingley detachment responded to a 3 a.m. 911 call about a man injured on Provincial Road 248 in Elie.

RCMP said they arrived to learn Chabot had been riding on the outside of a moving Ford Escape, fell off and was severely injured.

He was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment but died, police said.

Gillis will be sentenced later this year. A date will be set on June 2.

Luring suspect sought

Winnipeg police are looking for a man who tried to get a 15-year-old girl into a van in the North End on Monday night.

The girl was approached in the lane of the 300 block of Flora Avenue at about 8:30 p.m.

The man drove up in a gold/brown van, opened the power sliding door on the driver's side and told her to get in.

She ran away and the man drove off. She was not injured and no contact was made.

The suspect is described as a male Caucasian in his 50s with a heavy build and long white/grey hair. He was wearing eyeglasses and a blue/grey shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 204-986-2848 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 22, 2014 A16

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