Inmate’s death in Abbotsford prison results in seven recommendations

Jury makes suggestions following coroner's inquest

Inmate's death in Abbotsford prison results in seven recommendations

A jury at a coroner’s inquest into the death of an inmate in Abbotsford has resulted in seven recommendations to the Correctional Service Canada.

The inquest, held Dec. 7 and 8 in Burnaby, looked into the death of Roman William Rezanowicz, 57, who was found unresponsive in his cell at the Regional Treatment Centre at Pacific Institution – a federal prison on King Road – on April 30, 2014.

Staff members immediately began performing CPR, and emergency services was called, but he could not be resuscitated.

Rezanowicz had cut his femoral artery and died from blood loss.

He had been serving a life sentence for strangling to death his wife, Kelli Rezanowicz, 32, in Ottawa in 1996 and then hanging her in the garage to make the death appear to be suicide.

Among the jury’s recommendations following the inquest were that inmate checks be conducted at random intervals and prison staff receive “practical, scenario-based training in first aid, including CPR” at least once a year.

Jurors also suggested that when inmates move to a new institution, the new staff receive and read “proper documentation” on the prisoners, and that all departments should have access to relevant information, including medical records, when there are  possible risks to other inmates or staff.

“Frontline staff should have as much information as possible to provide the best treatment and safety to all staff and inmates,” the jury wrote.

The other three recommendations were that: appropriate technology be reviewed that can be provided to prison staff to enable them to request immediate assistance, critical incident stress management be available to staff after a stressful incident, and “regular meetings, proper documentation and information sharing between departments needs to occur so no one falls through the cracks.”