Jurors at coroner’s inquest say there’s not enough help for those seeking substance abuse and addiction treatment in Terrace and surrounding areas.
One of the recommendations stemming from the the coroner’s inquest into the death of 25 year old Alyssa George, also known as Alyssa Oleksiuk, asks the Ministry of Health to look into the possibility of establishing a proper medically staffed substance abuse and detox centre in Terrace.
During the inquest, the jurors heard that Alyssa was in extremely poor health due to her long history of alcohol and drug abuse.
Alyssa went to Mills Memorial hospital on June 1 2013 saying she wanted to get into a detox centre.
Only July 21 2013, she was again at the hospital and stated that she was waiting for a bed at a detox centre in Prince George to become available.
Just a few weeks later, on September 4 2013, she would fall into medical distress while in the custody of the Terrace RCMP.
She later died in a Vancouver hospital on September 10.
Many of the questions by inquest counsel focused on how often guards and RCMP officers checked up on prisoners, and how these checks were conducted.
The jurors also saw video evidence of Alyssa in the holding cells of the Terrace RCMP detachment, as she slowly writhed around the cell floor.
After deliberations, the jurors returned with 16 recommendations, with the majority of them directed at the RCMP and the City of Terrace, as holding cell guards are municipal workers.
Some of the recommendations include having more medical screening information when booking prisoners, stricter adherence to policies and to consider policies to be mandatory versus best practice goals, funding for a second guard on duty at all times, allowing two way intercoms between the guard station and the cells, and larger monitors for guards so they can better see what’s happening in the cell.