The week-long coroners inquest into the death of 36-year old Alexander Charles Joseph on October 4th, 2018 wrapped up in Prince George on Friday evening, with the jury making a series of recommendations aimed at preventing a similar death from happening.
Four were directed to the Provincial Director of the BC Corrections Branch.
1. To review procedures to ensure that 20 minute video checks are logged for each inmate being transported.
2. That when prisoners are being transported, physical wellness checks are made at a safe location at least hourly.
3. Prepare plans for potential emergency situations that could occur during transportation of prisoners and conduct drills on a periodic basis to ensure those plans are adequate.
4. To consider adapting transportation vehicles in a manner that would provide a safer and more comfortable environment for inmates.
As for the rationale behind these suggestions, the jury noted that logged video check entries weren’t required in 2018, there were no scheduled physical checks required at that time and one wasn’t planned until they got to Kamloops from Prince George which was about 6 hours away, and the jury also felt that the transport officers did not have adequate plans prepared for an emergency.
As for comfort, the jury noted that prisoner compartments were not suitable for long distance transportation.
There was also one recommendation made to the Chief Coroner of the BC Coroner Service.
1. That consideration be given to updating information regarding the Coroners Inquest process for family and support workers.
The Jury said it heard during the inquiry that family was not given updated information, and the family also indicated some confusion over the process as well.
As part of the verdict that was issued by the jury.
It indicated that Alexander Charles Joseph died of a mixed drug overdose as a consequence of Fentanyl and Methamphetamine, and also classified his death as accidental.
The jury also determined that Joseph died in a corrections vehicle on Highway 97 near Quesnel, well before CPR and NARCAN were administered on the side of the road near 100 Mile House.