Family of Ashley Smith boycotting inquest into her death in Kitchener, Ont., prison

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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The family of a teenager who strangled herself in a Kitchener, Ont., prison cell while seven guards watched is boycotting the inquest into her death, saying its narrow scope "lacks credibility."
"I feel in my heart this is right," Ashley Smith's mother, Coralee, said from her home in Moncton, N.B. "I feel in my heart the scope has to be Ashley's whole time in federal custody."
Ontario's coroner decided in December to limit the inquest to the 13 weeks Smith spent in Ontario. The teen died at Grand Valley Institution for Women in 2007.
Smith spent 11 1/2 months in federal custody.
She was shipped between nine institutions in five provinces and spent most of that time in a segregation cell wearing a padded suicide gown.
Smith's family claims her mental health deteriorated with each transfer and that her attempts at self-harm were a result of mistreatment.
Court and prison documents show how the once soft-spoken young woman's complaints of inhumane treatment were largely ignored and how she wound up a "caged animal," four years after she first got in trouble for throwing crab apples at a postal worker.
No date has been set for the inquest.

Organizations: Grand Valley Institution for Women

Geographic location: Kitchener, Ontario, Moncton

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  • amazed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    A Fifth Estate documentary on this unfortunate girl can be seen at this website address.
    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/

  • marge
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    the fox guarding the hen house???the penal system needs to be heldd responsible for this...Hard to believe this happened in North America. Does anyone know why this young woman kept being transferred?

  • amazed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    A Fifth Estate documentary on this unfortunate girl can be seen at this website address.
    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/

  • amazed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    A Fifth Estate documentary on this unfortunate girl can be seen at this website address.
    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/

  • marge
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    the fox guarding the hen house???the penal system needs to be heldd responsible for this...Hard to believe this happened in North America. Does anyone know why this young woman kept being transferred?

  • amazed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    A Fifth Estate documentary on this unfortunate girl can be seen at this website address.
    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/