Inmate had history of health issues
Found dead in her cell
A 22-year-old inmate found dead in her cell at the Nova Institution for Women had a history of mental health and substance abuse issues, prior to being sentenced on an armed robbery conviction last November.
Camille Strickland-Murphy, who had been serving a sentence of two years, eight months and two days, stemming from last Nov. 10, in St. Johns, NL, was found unresponsive in her cell Tuesday evening at the women’s prison in Truro.
During her sentencing, according to information published last November in the St. John’s Telegram, Newfoundland provincial court judge Pamela Goulding noted that Strickland-Murphy had suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder, as well as a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
“‘During her (previous) incarceration (in 2012), the offender was assaulted severely, which resulted in a brain injury. She now has hydrocephalus and experiences headaches, fainting and seizures,’” the Telegram reported last fall, from Goulding’s written report.
It has also been reported that during the 2012 sentencing, Strickland-Murphy had asked to be housed in a federal institution to get help for her mental health issues.
When asked Wednesday by the Truro Daily News whether Strickland-Murphy had been enrolled in any programs to deal with her issues, prison warden Laurie Bernard said she could not provide that information for confidentiality reasons.
“I’m not able to comment on that at this time,” Bernard said. “What I can confirm, is that as with all deaths in custody, the coroner and medical examiner were called in to investigate.
And as with all such cases, she said, CSC will conduct its own investigation as well.
Strickland-Murphy’s death is the second inmate from Newfoundland who has died at the prison this year, following the death last April of Veronica Park, of Corner Brook, who had been serving a three-year sentence at the time.
CSC has yet to provide any details regarding the cause of that death and Bernard said she is not at liberty to share such information.
“We always review the circumstances surrounding these incidents, deaths in custodies, and we do take it very seriously,” she said.
Truro Police Chief David MacNeil said his department received a call from the prison about 6:45 p.m. in relation to the death of an inmate.