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“He shares a responsibility for the death"

“He shares a responsibility for the death”

Says Coroner Crerar, of each Corrections Officer who failed to rouse Mr Davis, as they were instructed. This is from the damning report into the death of Jai Davis at Otago Corrections Facility, which was released today.

The Coroner’s findings are a serious indictment of both Corrections and the Police. There were multiple failings, both from Police and from Corrections.

Perhaps one of the most serious failings was the Prison Manager not knowing that the term medical officer meant doctor, says Madeleine Rose, spokesperson for the Howard League for Penal Reform. If she had, Mr Davis might be alive today.

The Police

There was a breakdown in the recording and transfer of intelligence by Police. Instead of arresting him and following their procedures they sent a man known to be concealing drugs to prison, where he died soon after.

The Coroner has recommended that the role of the Police in the circumstances of the death of Jai Davis be the subject of an investigation by the Office of the Independent Police Complaints Authority.

And why was it that near the end of the investigation by the Police, the Senior Sergeant in charge was removed and the decision was then made by Police not to prosecute Corrections? asks Rose.

The Nurses

The lack of care by nurses at the facility has led to the Coroner recommending that the death be investigated by the Health and Disability Commissioner.

They did not complete their checks to an adequate standard and they did not call the doctor. The report highlights a total disconnect between the evidence of the nurses and of the staff as to the condition Jai Davis was in. Again, instructions on the computer were too difficult to access, just like they were in the lead up to the death of another prisoner Kerry Joll. How many prisoners have to die before staff are trained to access the notes? asks Rose.

This was a valuable life. There are children now without a father. There is a mother without her son.

The Ministers of both Corrections and Police, need to take responsibility for the gross negligence that led to this death, says Rose.


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