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Old 01-23-2013, 04:48 PM
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Default The Death of Ashley Smith

A sad account of a young girl's life and death. This is a person who desperately needed mental health intervention, not incarceration in Grand Valley Correctional Institution, and up to 16 others prior to that.

Ashley Smith flooded cell, choked herself within hours of arriving at new prison, correctional officer testifies - The Globe and Mail

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:32 PM
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In a perfect world, Mr. Burnett testified earlier, he would intervene to try to save a life but in the correctional world, it’s a different story.

This is so tragic. I fail to understand why she was not in a hospital. A prison is no place for a mentally ill person.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:52 PM
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It should never have happened. But it did. In just a 3-4 year span. This all started back in her home town when she was taken into custody for throwing crab-apples at a Canada Postal worker.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadenough View Post
A sad account of a young girl's life and death. This is a person who desperately needed mental health intervention.
Agreed.


Maybe I'm missing the complete chronology of events, but how is,

In Ottawa Monday, about 30 protesters observed 13 minutes of silence outside the Correctional Services Canada offices — the time it took for prison guards to respond after they found Smith choked to death in her cell.

possible, if the guard states she was still breathing when he was ordered to begin videotaping.

Sounds like the deceased's lawyer is looking for a scapegoat.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:43 PM
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This is a very sad case in which 'the system' failed. In researching her history it appears that she suffered from mental health issues.

The pattern of behaviour suggests a possible antisocial personality disorder, however I cannot diagnose, nor am claiming to. If it is the case though, it is untreatable. She would not be able to be diagnosed prior to the age of 18. So sad...

Perhaps if they had tried to help her and had her in a psychiatric facility it would of turned out differently.

I feel for her family.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:21 PM
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Moved *17* times in her last 11 months of life, from one institution to another.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:31 PM
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She had been in juvenile court 14 times before the crab apple incident (which is assault) and apparently had attempted to harm herself 150 times before she ended up killing herself.

She sounds like a nightmare to deal with. I feel sorry for the guards who ended up with their asses on the line because of it. Apparently, in the previous cases of self harm she would attack guards who tried to stop her, so they ended up being ordered not to enter her cell if she was still breathing.

Crappy story all around. If she did have antisocial personality disorder, there is no cure and most treatments aren't considered particularly effective. She probably would have been in and out of prison for the rest of her life for various crimes.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:51 PM
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Hadenough - has your media shown the video? I watched it last night, it was absolutely terrible. No one should ever be in that position - neither Ashley, nor the unprepared and ill equipped guards. Looked like a true sh**show.

Quote:
Sounds like the deceased's lawyer is looking for a scapegoat.
As would I be.. there is obviously a problem. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - our government doesn't spend nearly enough money in the diagnosis, care, and handling of mental illness/those affected.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:07 PM
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Yes McD, I've seen the footage and it's despicable and inexcusable.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caranna View Post
This is so tragic. I fail to understand why she was not in a hospital. A prison is no place for a mentally ill person.
Our mental health system is in terrible shape, as a horribly underfunded subset of the general health care system.

So they fall through the cracks of that system, and end up in the criminal justice system, which is ill-equipped to deal with them, but is designed to have fewer cracks.

Sadly, her story is far from unique; it's just been the most public. Unfortunately, it's the correctional system that bears the brunt of the resulting scrutiny, not the mental health care system which needs it more.

Some people are too violent for a hospital and too sick for a prison, but there is nowhere to put them so they stay in prison.
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