Mercedes Perez is representing the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario at the coroner’s inquest into the death of Soleiman Faqiri. To date, the inquest has heard from numerous witnesses describing the conditions of Mr. Faqiri’s confinement at the Central East Correctional Centre where he died on December 15, 2016 while awaiting a court-ordered psychiatric assessment. The inquest continues into its third week starting tomorrow and can be viewed using this link. The inquest will determine the manner of Mr. Faqiri’s death and the jury can make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in future.
Persons diagnosed with mental health conditions continue to be over-represented within Ontario’s correctional centres. These prisons are unable to meet their treatment and care needs yet end up as default places of custody given the ongoing severe shortage of hospital beds and other community-based mental health services.
There also continues to be an unacceptably high number of deaths in custody. Tracking (In)Justice has documented more than 1,532 deaths in custody in Canada since the year 2000, 669 which have occurred in Ontario.
Ongoing media coverage of the inquest can be accessed at the following links: