Public inquest scheduled for 2021 death in Prince Albert police jail cell

Joseph Bird died in hospital after he was found unresponsive in a Prince Albert Police Service jail cell in 2021. An inquest into his death is scheduled to begin July 22. (Prince Albert Police Service - image credit)

A public inquest into the death of Joseph Bird is set to take place in Prince Albert next month.

Bird, 35, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Prince Albert police station on Oct. 11, 2021. He died in the emergency department at the city's Victoria Hospital after life saving efforts were unsuccessful.

Section 20 of The Coroners Act, 1999 states an inquest must be held into the death of a person who dies while an inmate at a jail or a correctional facility, unless the coroner is satisfied that the person's death was due entirely to natural causes and was not preventable.

The purpose of an inquest is to establish who died, when and where that person died and the medical cause and manner of death," said the news release from the government on Friday.

"The coroner's jury may make recommendations to prevent similar deaths."

The public inquest into Bird's death is scheduled for July 22-26 at the Coronet Hotel. The first day of the inquest is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. while the subsequent start times will be determined by the presiding coroner Robert Kennedy.