My Statement on the London Free Press’ Coverage of Jamie High’s Death

I rise today to congratulate London Free Press reporter Randy Richmond on his eight-part series “Indiscernible” the story of Jamie High and also to thank the editors who gave Mr. Richmond the two years it took to write Jamie’s story.

Jamie High died on December 23, 2014 after being found unresponsive in a segregation cell at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre. Unlike Adam Capay, Jamie’s stay in segregation was brief. Like Adam, however, he was left shattered and incoherent by the experience. The title of the series refers to the 26 times that Jamie’s words could not be deciphered by the court reporter hours before his death, his responses noted in the transcript as “indiscernible.” Jamie High fell victim to the gaping holes in Ontario’s mental health, justice, and corrections systems, systems that consistently fail those struggling with addictions and mental health.

“Indiscernible” provides a thoughtful, critical analysis of complex issues, uncovering a map of problems that the London Free Press is planning to follow for years. In an age of citizen journalists and hobby bloggers, this kind of comprehensive and in-depth coverage, backed by editorial fact-checking and review, shows the value and ongoing relevance of traditional print media.

I congratulate the London Free Press and also journalist Randy Richmond on this very vital series.