CONTENT WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

Day one updates

Day two updates

Inquest closes; 15 recommendations given by the jury

The inquest into the death of Benjamin Toutsaint has officially closed with a jury offering 15 recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Toutsaint died by suicide while serving a two-year sentence at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon in May 2019.

The inquest into his death concluded on Wednesday afternoon with the jury offering several recommendations.  Five recommendations were directed toward Correctional Services Canada while the remaining 10 were given to the Regional Psychiatric Centre itself.

The recommendations include increased training for correctional officers, updates in audits to facility equipment, and reviews in communication procedures at RPC.  The jury also recommended correctional officers be informed of necessary health information on the patients and that they be given hand-held bed boards to determine what inmate should be in what cell.

Important to note, these recommendations are non-binding and may be implemented at the discretion of Correctional Services Canada or RPC.

Statement from Benjamin Toutsaint’s family

As the jury began their deliberations the family of Benjamin Toutsaint provided MBC News with a written statement on who Benjamin Toutsaint was.

The following is their statement:

Benjamin Toutsaint was a son of Joe and Eileen Toutsaint.  He came from a big family of 12.  We all loved him.  He also had numerous nephews and nieces.

He loved the outdoors, fishing, picnics, camping, hunting, reading, and writing.  He also loved music and hanging around with his close friends.

His favourite niece was Sharina.  He would always send letters to us to tell her that she always leves her and to remind her to stay in school.

We are here at the inquest to find support and to have future preventention to ensure that all inmates that need help should be treated with respect.  People with mental health problems have different perspectives in their lives.

With that, the family of Benjamin Toutsaint would like to provide thank yous to the coroner’s office, legal counsel, jury, witnesses and all that have helped during the difficult time of reliving the moments of his death.

We don’t want to see another person or family go through this.

Thank you,

Joe and Eileen Toutsaint, Sharon and Billy Throassie.

Gone but never forgotten.

UPDATE 10:00

The inquest into the death of a man at a Saskatoon correctional centre has heard from all witnesses and the jury has begun their deliberations.

Benjamin Toutsaint died while serving a two-year sentence at the Regional Psychiatric Centre.

An inquest into his death has been taking place in Saskatoon.

Brent Gough has been presiding over the inquest on behalf of the Coroner’s Office and charged the jury Wednesday morning.

Gough spoke on the duties and responsibilities for the jurors and reminded them this is an inquest and not a trial and they are not looking for any findings of fault or legal responsibility.

Their responsibility is to determine how Benjamin Toutsaint died and to give recommendations on how to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Gough outlined the evidence heard during the inquest and says the jury should only use evidence heard at the inquest when determining recommendations.

The jury was also reminded the recommendations need to be implementable and reasonable.

The inquest has now been adjourned until the jury has reached its verdict.

(PHOTO – The Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon.  File Photo)