PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — Why a 27-year-old woman died in a Saskatchewan jail remains unknown.
The six-member jury began hearing evidence Monday into Shauna Wolf's death.
Wolf died while being held on remand at Pine Grove Correctional Centre Dec. 27, 2015.
Jurors ruled the cause of her death unknown and the means of her death undetermined.
They recommended improving health care provided to inmates suffering drug withdrawal and standardizing procedures to ensure better communication between corrections and medical staff.
They also suggested expanding the number of medical observation cells available at Pine Grove, developing and implementing formal medical followup procedures when inmates are discharged from the medical wing and ensuring emergency medical supplies are re-stocked and inventoried regularly.
Wolf's family declined to speak with media following the inquest.
Lawyer Ammy Murray,who represented Wolf's parents and young daughter, said the family was glad the jury recognized the fact that more could have been done to help her.
"Ms. Wolf sat in her cell for a significant period of time either dying or dead, and there were several checks during that time period," Murray said. "Had there been quicker reactions, perhaps Ms. Wolf would still be here today."
Based on the time of death, which the jury determined to be between 9:45 and 10:45 p.m., Murray said Wolf's death may not have been noticed by staff for as long as 90 minutes.
"Regardless of how Ms. Wolf died, that's still something that needs to be addressed," she said.
Wolf's family was disappointed the cause of death was not determined but were pleased with the jury's recommendations.
"They're very happy that there's going to be some action taken within the ministry [of justice] and within the correctional centre to address people withdrawing from opioids," Murray said. "This is going to be happening more and more in Saskatchewan, so we need to be addressing it right now in a proactive manner."
Wolf's family believes she died from complications resulting from opiate withdrawal.
The Canadian Press