Coroner calls for changes after jail death

·1-min read

A South Australian coroner has called for more work to prevent prisoners killing themselves after the death of an inmate at Adelaide's Yatala Jail.

Joshua Marek Stachor was on remand for domestic violence charges when he was found hanging in his cell in November 2017.

In his findings on Monday, Deputy State Coroner Ian White raised concerns over the inadequacy of an admission interview conducted on the 30-year-old and the attention given to his mental health issues.

Mr White said a notice of concern should have been raised as, by his own description, Mr Stachor's mental health was starting to deteriorate and he was suffering anxiety and paranoia.

"If a NOC had been raised it is unlikely Mr Stachor would have been in a single cell," the coroner said.

"I am not able to find that a NOC would have prevented Mr Stachor taking his own life, but the likelihood of it happening would have been less."

Mr White also found that the officer who conducted the admission interview with the prisoner had not been properly trained to do so and despite his best efforts was "overwhelmed by the task".

In his recommendations, the coroner urged the Department for Correctional Services to continue to identify and eliminate hanging points in cells.

He said items that have the potential to act as ligatures should also be classified as contraband.

Mr White said the department should take steps to appoint correctional officers who were specifically dedicated and trained to admit prisoners and should provide them with continuing education.

That should include training on the basics of mental health issues and the common physical signs of mental health problems.

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