Provincial judge calls for review of Winnipeg Remand Centre medical unit after Errol Greene investigation

A provincial judge has recommended that the Manitoba Government complete an independent review of the medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre in an inquest report after the death of Errol Greene.

The 26 year old was brought to Winnipeg’s remand centre on April 29, 2016 for breach of probation on a mischief charge.

He died May 1, 2018 after suffering two seizures.

Shortly after Greene’s death, his widow Rochelle Pranteau called for better medical care for inmates.

“It’s a life and death situation and you shouldn’t neglect anybody, we are human, doesn’t matter if you’re in jail or not, you should be treated better.”

In 2018 a mandatory inquest into Greene’s death was held by provincial Judge Heather Pullan.

She’s now calling for a full review of health care services at the remand centre in Winnipeg.

Pullan strongly criticized Manitoba Corrections.

“The medical unit at the Remand Centre is not accredited. It’s not clear why this is the case,” the report states.

“If the focus on healthcare delivery in an institution is on quality and excellence, surely being held to an objective standard, assessed externally, is the best means by which excellence can be achieved and maintained.”

Pullan made 11 recommendations. 

One of the recommendations calls for the recognition of the specific role correctional officers play in the Winnipeg Remand Centre, that seizure specific training, including recognition of behaviour that could be seizure related and respond appropriately while awaiting the arrival of medical staff.

APTN News spoke with Pranteau’s lawyer Corey Shefman about the release of the report.

“We were happy to see the recommendations, but at the end of the day they’re not binding,” said Shefman.

“But we are hopeful the government will implement them.”

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen didn’t make a firm commitment to any of recommendations.

However, Cullen says some of his senior officials will review the inquest report.

“I’m confident this report will help us strengthen protocols and procedures so we can prevent future in custody deaths,” he said.

He said the government has made some changes since Greene’s death three years ago.

“We’re ensuring that a physician is schedule to attend the Remand Centre everyday to review medications, including weekends,” he said.

“We also improved record keeping and file storage at the facility to ensure health information is meticulously recorded.”

Ultimately, the Minister says there’s room for more improvement.

“We’ll continue to make improvements in terms of training of our corrections staff and medical staff and correctional officers and invest in new technology to better monitor inmates.”