Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Care and Compassion in the Community, Not Cages: A Demonstration Demanding Justice for Justin St. Amour


Wednesday, April 17, 2019
12:30pm – 1:00pm

Canadian Tribute to Human Rights
(corner of Elgin and Lisgar)

Laureen St. Amour (Justin’s mother)
Paul Champ (Lawyer, Champ & Associates)
JP (Member, CPEP / Criminalization and Punishment Education Project)

The inquest into the preventable December 2016 death of Justin St. Amour began on Monday, April 8, 2019. During the inquest, it has come to light that several opportunities were missed to provide Justin with adequate care and compassion in the community during the course of his life. Living with mental health issues and often homeless, Justin ended-up at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. Placed on and then taken off suicide watch, Justin tore his bed sheets and assembled a noose in his cell, and told a guard checking-in on him that he would take his own life if he did not speak to his supervisor. Despite this, his urgent call was not taken seriously and Justin hung himself with staff failing to intervene in time. Justin was taken to hospital, where he died eight days later. The incarceration and death of Justin St. Amour, like so many others who have been sent to and died in Ontario’s provincial jails, was preventable.

Those gathered at the April 17, 2019 demonstration will be demanding justice for Justin St. Amour and his family in the form of provincial government action to ensure that appropriate care and compassion for people living with mental health issues exists in the community so that they do not end-up in jails like the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre or dead.

Media Contact
Justin Piché, PhD (Associate Professor, Criminology, University of Ottawa)
613-793-1093 / justin.piche@uottawa.ca

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