Police, coroner investigating after inmate dies at Fort Smith men's jail

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The RCMP and the N.W.T. coroner service are investigating a death in the male unit of the Fort Smith Correctional Complex. (Randall McKenzie/CBC - image credit)
The RCMP and the N.W.T. coroner service are investigating a death in the male unit of the Fort Smith Correctional Complex. (Randall McKenzie/CBC - image credit)

An inmate at the Fort Smith, N.W.T., men's jail died early Monday morning.

The N.W.T.'s coroner service said in a press release Wednesday it would be investigating the death of a 27-year-old man at the Fort Smith Correctional Complex. The release said the man was alone in his cell at the time of his death and it is not considered suspicious.

The RCMP is also investigating and the N.W.T. Department of Justice is launching an internal investigation, said Ngan Trinh, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice.

She said this is the first death of an inmate at an N.W.T. correctional facility since 1999, and the fourth since since 1995.

She added that jail staff and inmates are being offered mental health supports as a result of the incident.

Staff at the jail were informed of the death, but no public notice was issued.

Trinh said the death posed no risk to the public, staff or inmates and therefore there was no need to inform the public.

Correction Services Canada, which runs federal correctional facilities, said on its website that a news release may be issued after an in custody death. However, the Fort Smith Correctional Complex is run by the territorial government.

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