Former Saskatchewan resident Kendal Lee Campeau died on November 14 while in the custody of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) at the federal government’s Pacific Institution in British Columbia.
The CSC said that as in all cases involving the death of an inmate the circumstances will be reviewed and the coroner notified. Campeau’s next of kin have also been notified.
According to one source Campeau was brought to the hospital, said he was “ok” and was then found unresponsive in his cell.
At the time of death, Campeau had been serving a sentence of 7 years and 5 months for various offences including assault, intentional use of force, escape from lawful custody, possession of scheduled substance for the purpose of trafficking, and robbery-related offences since 2018.
In 2019 Campeau was apprehended without incident at a home in Saskatoon after having escaped from the Regional Psychiatric Centre. He was later transferred to B.C. where he remained until his death.
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) Vice Chief Kim Beaudin said the fact that Campeau was in a psychiatric institution prior to his death raises questions about whether his mental health needs were met.
“Full responsibility for healthcare falls under the CSC. What they do is they undermine the healthcare needs of prisoners to save money,” Beaudin said.
“There is a lack of mental healthcare, support and medication. It’s a huge issue. They cut out the psychiatrists and the psychologists while people are dying.”
Beaudin said the CSC should not have transferred Campeau to B.C. where he was away from his family in Saskatchewan, especially considering the inmate’s past.
“He certainly was no angel but when you are placed in a federal penitentiary you are under the responsibility of Canada and it’s clear that they are not protecting our people. Nobody should be dying in these prisons,” Beaudin said.
“We don’t know how he died. They claim they’ll launch an investigation but nothing will happen. It will go silent and that will be it.”