Inmate, 27, passes away at Fort Smith men’s jail

A 27-year-old inmate at Fort Smith’s men’s corrections facility has passed away, the Office of the Chief Coroner said in a statement on Wednesday.

Residents had earlier reported a lockdown at the facility. Ngan Trinh, a spokesperson for the NWT Department of Justice, said the inmate – who was not identified – had been found unresponsive in their cell on Monday morning.

RCMP and the NWT coroner service are investigating what took place. The department is also coordinating its own investigation.


The Office of the Chief Coroner said the death was not considered suspicious. The inmate was alone in his cell at the time of his passing, the coroner’s office stated. A post-mortem examination has been ordered.

An inquest, which is mandatory when people die in custody, will be held at a later date. The coroner’s office said no other information would be made public until that inquest begins.

“There was no risk to the public, staff, or inmates identified as a result of this incident. There are no other details for release at this time,” Trinh said on behalf of the justice department by email.

The CBC reported the death is understood to be the fourth at an NWT corrections facility since 1995.