Ashley Smith jurors to tour Ontario prison where teen died

KITCHENER, Ont. – Jurors at an inquest probing the death of a troubled teenage prison inmate will spend today taking a tour of the facility where she died.

Ashley Smith was 19 when she choked to death at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont.

The five women on the panel are scheduled to visit the facility to observe how segregated prisoners are handled.

Smith had spent years being shuttled back and forth between the country’s prisons and passed much of her time behind bars in isolation.

An inquest probing her death is exploring the circumstances of her death, which was videotaped by guards who were ordered not to intervene.

The presiding coroner has also said the inquest should examine the way the prison system treats the mentally ill.




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Ashley Smith jurors to tour Ontario prison where teen died

  1. “The presiding coroner has also said the inquest should look at the way the prison system treats the mentally ill”. There is the rub. For better or worse, a person with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder is not considered to be “mentally ill” in the way that a person with a diagnosis of psychosis is. People with personality disorders are like people who are psychopaths, they are considered to have “behavioral” problems that are within their ability to control. This is different for people who suffer from psychosis and cannot distinguish reality from fantasy and therefore cannot “control” their behaviors because they are dealing with a greatly distorted perception of truth.
    What the coroner might want the inquest to look at is how the cognitively impaired are treated in the prison system as serious cognitive impairment can cause people to be very difficult to deal with. These people also belong on forensic units rather in prison.

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