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Alberta man wants answers after son dies of fentanyl overdose in segregation

Alberta man wants answers after son dies of fentanyl overdose in segregation
From Global News - January 12, 2018

As the country grapples with the opioid crisis, an Alberta man is speaking out after his son overdosed on fentanyl while in segregation at the Drumheller Institution.

He wasnt safe there. Thats what really bothers me. A lot of peoples children arent safe there, Derek Osterland told Global News.

I thought the jail was designed to help you become better people and safe. But its not.


Cody Osterland had a difficult childhood and began abusing alcohol and drugs at a young age. At 21, he ended up at the Drumheller Institution for drugs and weapons offences.

READ MORE:Opioid overdoses a growing concern for workers in Alberta correctional facilities: Its disturbing

He was working to be a better person. Not that I dont think he was a good person. He just made some bad choices, Derek said. He went back to school. He was cooking in the kitchen. He loved to cook. Even all the reports showed very positive things that he was doing.

A Board of Investigation (BOI) report obtained by Global News showed Cody had been in segregation for 49 days before his death. The report said he was considered a non-problematic inmate who was friendly and cooperative with staff in the segregation unit.

READ MORE:23-year-old Drumheller Institution inmate found dead

Cody was found dead at around 7 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2016, after it was noted he didnt take his breakfast tray from the food slot. The report said Cody had died approximately two to four hours earlier and that rigor mortis was evident.

It was several hours where he was totally alone and he shouldnt have been, Derek said.

READ MORE:Bowden Institution inmates death under investigation

The report stops short of explaining how Cody obtained the drugs, but said video recordings show him passing sheets of paper between another inmate and the segregation inmate cleaner.

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