Previously published in Examiner
Part 3 of the Prison Suicide Series
When a person is about to about to commit suicide can you get more out of control then that? How then can people whom you have entrusted your child or young adult’s life to just watch as as your child commits suicide in front of them?
Why would guards watch a young girl commit suicide?
This is a serious question that has to be asked and the authorities have to be made accountable for this tragic and senseless death.
According to Correctional Services Canada, Ashley Smith had problems from a very young age. Her parents tried everything for her. They eventually were able to get her some psychiatric help in a New Brunswick diagnostic and treatment center, but the medical authorities released her “most probably” too early, because she had behavioural problems.
Personal Note: The fact that she had these issues was all the more reason she needed help in order to become a well-adjusted individual and avoid her untimely demise. Instead they failed her.
Montrealers fear that this sort of thing could happen here as well. Years ago four young Montreal girls were killed in a youth center when a fire broke out and the girls could not open the locked doors to their cell. Montrealers know all to well how the system can fail us.
Ashley went before the courts several times and in 2003, she was turned over to the New Brunswick Youth Center. She committed an additional 50 criminal offenses while in their charge. Many of these crimes were in reaction to the health professionals who were trying to help her and control her anti social behaviour. She spent much of her stay there in “therapeutic Quiet Time” that means isolated and away from everyone else.
Personal Note: This Montreal examiner’s son was in “respite” (that is what we call it here in Quebec), for a week, when he was in a psychiatric hospital for kids with conduct disorder and other mental illnesses.
To be continued