In­mate had history of health is­sues

Found dead in her cell

Cape Breton Post - - PROVINCE -

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.

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