The government of Nova Scotia has released Building Bridges: Improving Care in Custody for People Living with Mental Illness. The document was released in response to Provincial Court Judge Anne Derrick’s report on the inquiry into the death of Howard Hyde, an individual with a mental health condition who was struck with a conducted energy weapon (taser) and died while in police custody.
The document’s purpose is to discuss the range of actions within the provincial government that will lead to better care of those in police custody who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Altogether there are about 90 actions listed.
The document identifies Judge Derrick’s recommendations as they relate to five categories: mental health services and supports, collaboration, training, use of force, and supports within the criminal justice system. The use of force category emphasizes the need to clarify Nova Scotia’s guidelines for conducted energy weapons and restraints. By 2012, the progress of the provincial government’s actions will be reviewed in a follow-up report.
To access the report, visit: www.gov.ns.ca.