The sister of a man who died while on remand at the Otago
Corrections Facility hopes some good comes from a police
review of the investigation into his death.
Police yesterday confirmed they were reviewing the case of
Richard John Barriball (42), who died at the Milburn jail in
A coroner found Mr Barriball took his own life eight days
after being admitted as a remand prisoner, and that he
received sub-optimal care in the prison.
When remanded in custody, he was denied medication he had
been prescribed outside of the prison.
His sister, Sue Barriball, and other family members were
concerned about the Department of Corrections' policy for
providing health care to prisoners.
Ms Barriball said prison staff should be held accountable and
the department's medicine policy needed to be ''looked at''.
''All we can hope for is something positive to come of Rick's
case,'' she said.
Dunedin Clutha Waitaki area commander Inspector Greg Sparrow
also confirmed yesterday police were still investigating the
death of another remand prisoner at the Otago Corrections
Jai Gordon Davis (30) died at the Milburn jail in February
A coroner's inquest for Mr Davis had not been held because
police had been investigating his death since it happened.
Insp Sparrow said an investigation team had been working on
the Davis case ''fulltime'' since April.
''The investigation has been complex and has developed as new
information has come to hand,'' he said.
But police would not answer questions from the Otago Daily
Times about the investigation.
Insp Sparrow said both investigations were ''current'' and
police could not comment further until they were completed.
The Davis investigation was ''likely to conclude in the next
few months'', he said.
Mr Davis' mother told the ODT she did not want to
comment while the investigation was ongoing.
Wellington drug and alcohol counsellor Roger Brooking lodged
a formal complaint with the Independent Police Conduct
Authority in March about the handling of the cases.
He told the ODT yesterday he was pleased the police
were investigating further.
''The families, in particular, are very gratified that after
two years, police are finally taking these issues seriously
and looking at what contributed to the deaths,'' he said.
Mr Brooking was also critical of the Corrections' medicine
policy for prisoners.
He said under the policy, medical staff were discouraged from
prescribing any drugs deemed addictive or tradeable by
prisoners, but that included almost all painkillers.
Mr Brooking said Mr Barriball's death was a direct result of
Corrections' medicine policy, which should be ''scrapped''.
The suicide rate in prison was 11% higher than in the
community, which was due, in part, to the denial of
''proper'' medication and health care for prisoners, he said.
''There needs to be a commission of inquiry into prison
health services. This is a policy written by management, not
by medical people, and that's the problem.''