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Canada: Family files wrongful death suit against MTC.

Midland Free Press
Friday May 27, 2005
Man suing CNCC over son's death

Pembroke - As a wrongful death suit slowly makes its way through the courts, Tom Elliott believes the privately operated jail in which his son contracted blood poisoning should become a public institution.
Elliott's son, Jeffrey, died from blood poisoning in August 2003, after cutting his hand on a food hatch at the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene.
The 1,184 bed facility is operated by Management and Training Corporation (MTC) of Canada, and it's parent company based in Centerville, Utah.
In September, a coroner's inquest ruled the 20-year-old Beachburg man died accidentally.
"I think it should be put into the public system. If it is public, the public has a say." said Elliott.
CNCC is Canada's first and only adult correctional facility that is operated by a private company. MTC was awarded the five-year contract to run the jail by the former Progressive Conservative provincial government. The Penetanguishene facility began accepting its first inmates in November, 2001.
Before the 2003 provincial election, the Ontario Liberals had indicated CNCC would become a public institution if the party formed the next government.
This has yet to happen.
Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter told Elliott last June the ministry will decide to terminate, renew or extend its contract with MTC when the agreement approaches its expiry date in November, 2006.
Julie Noonan, a spokesperson for the ministry, reinterated Kwinter's comments.
"We will be making a decision in a years' time," said Noonan recently.
She pointed out that the ministry's compliance unit looked at CNCC. The role of the compliance unit is to check that the facility is operating properly.
"We look at those operations every day, as we do with our other institutions," Noonan said.
When making its decision to renew, terminate or issue another tender for the contract, the ministry will examine a number of factors, including daily operations at CNCC, its performance, economic factors and recidivism rates, said Noonan.
A comparison study between the Penetanguishene facility and Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) in Lindsay will be one of the several factors the ministry will use when making a decision, Noonan added.
"It (the study) is not to see which one is better, it is to learn how we can operate better as a whole," said Noonan.
While Elliott waits and sees if the facility becomes a public jail, he continues his fight to get justice for his son.
Elliott and his family are seeking $150,000 in damages in a wrongful death suit launched against the Province of Ontario, MTC and First Correctional Medical.
It appears the family won't proceed with any future lawsuits at this point.
Elliott said he is unwilling to negotiate a settlement with the three parties.
"It is not a money issue. I'm not concerned about money," he said.
"I will settle for nothing less than a public apology, to let the public know that this wasn't right."
"There is no money to be gained out of this," Elliott added. "I want to make the public understand that it could be their son or daughter."

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