BACKGROUND: Ashley Smith, 19, died in her prison cell at Grand Valley Institution near Kitchener, Ont., in October 2007 from self-strangulation. She had been transferred between federal institutions 17 times during her final 11 months, most of that time kept in segregation and often on suicide watch dressed in a highly restrictive gown. Jailed at age 13 for a crab apple-throwing incident in New Brunswick, Smith was eventually transferred to an adult facility after she kept getting into trouble behind bars by constantly kicking, grabbing and spitting at guards. Lawyer's for her family and the media had successfully attacked then presiding Coroner Dr. Bonita Porter's efforts to limit the scope and evidence to be called at the inquest which is currently on hold. Dr. John Carlisle has been appointed by Chief Coroner Dr. Andrew McCallum to take over the Inquest. The inquest is of interest to this Blog because it relates to the openness of public death investigations - and the necessity to ensure that deaths warranting inquests get full scrutiny.
Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog; email@example.com;