A Last Request

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Date: 2009

A 40-year-old man who was being held in a detention centre called the Ombudsman’s Office for help after he was diagnosed with liver cancer and told he had only a few months to live. Because of his condition, he was being held in the jail’s medical unit and was unable to attend any recreational or religious programs. He said he was severely depressed: “I am dying and I can’t get the spiritual connection that I need.”

The next day, as a result of an Ombudsman’s staff member’s inquiries, the institution’s chaplain arranged for regular one-on-one sessions with the inmate, and assured he would have access to a Bible, other religious materials, and a social worker if needed. Medical staff at the jail were also alerted to monitor the inmate’s depression.