An inquest into the death of an inmate who took her life in May 2017 while in custody at the Southwest Detention Centre has been delayed as Ontario works to limit the spread of COVID-19.
In a media release issued on Thursday, the Ontario's chief coroner Dr. David Cameron announced the postponement of inquests into the deaths of 27 people across the province previously scheduled between March 30 and June 29.
Among the postponed inquests is that of Delilah Blair, a former inmate at the jail in Windsor, Ont. who took her life on May 22, 2017, originally scheduled for April 20.
Blair's family was informed that she hanged herself in her cell using a bed sheet. Blair was the first person to die in the South West Detention Centre since it opened in 2014.
Selina McIntyre, Blair's mother, said her family received the news between three and four weeks ago, adding that the coroner's office asked if they could postpone until sometime in September, due to additional material that needed to be reviewed.
"It was a blow to the family," she said. "It was just the point of waiting this long and hoping for it to be finished, but with the packages that they had received, the more briefs that they had to go through, it's a large amount."
McIntyre said that the family "was pretty good" with the delay after they learned that the coroner's office needed more time to prepare for the inquest.
"It's been a long process and hopefully [it] will be concluded in September and [we] get the answers we need," she said.