Access to regular showers considered after suicide at Alberta jail

The Canadian Press
January 29, 2018
By The Canadian Press
PEACE RIVER, Alta. — A fatality inquiry into an inmate’s suicide at an Alberta jail has concluded that regular showers should be considered a basic requirement or right.

The inquiry looked into the death of Brent Miro Matkowski, who hanged himself in his cell at the Peace River Correctional Centre in March 2012.

Matkowski, who was 47 and from Spirit River, Alta., had been waiting to be sentenced for a sexual assault six years earlier and was in custody for failing to make a court appearance.

A staff psychologist believed Matkowski was suffering from alcohol withdrawal, so the inmate was placed in an isolation cell for monitoring.

A staff member making regular checks discovered Matkowski’s body hanging from a hinge on a bathroom door days later.

Inquiry Judge Claus Thietke did not make any specific recommendations, but noted that Matkowski was not given the chance to shower regularly during his short incarceration.

The judge suggested a lack of showering could affect an inmate’s mental health.

Thietke also said if monitoring of inmates is required, conditions must be at a level or of a quality that is meaningful and effective.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2018

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