Hyde Inquiry

New Guidelines on Conducted Energy Weapons

In June 2011, Justice announced strengthened provincial guidelines on the use of conducted energy weapons, commonly known as Tasers, to help ensure the health and safety of people involved in Nova Scotia's justice system.

Hyde Fatality Inquiry

On May 12, 2011, government released Building Bridges: Improving Care In Custody for People Living With Mental Illness.

Building Bridges is built on recommendations from Judge Anne Derrick's Report of the Fatality Inquiry into the Death of Howard Hyde, as well as other reports, such as the Report of the Panel of Mental Health and Medical Experts Review of Excited Delirium, other reports, and work in other jurisdictions (e.g., the Consensus Project).

Specifically, p. 35 deals with recommendations of the Panel of Experts referenced above. In the Hyde Inquiry Report, Judge Anne Derrick found that Mr. Hyde was not in a state of excited delirium at any time during the approximately 30 hours leading up to his death and concluded that autonomic hyperarousal state (excited delirium) was not the cause of his death.

The Report deals with these issues in Chapters 35 and 41. However, the panel of experts' recommendations are included as part of the Building Bridges plan to help people respond effectively to individuals who may be in an autonomic hyperarousal state.

The plan, which has almost 90 actions, is based on the key elements of building stronger partnerships with stakeholders, and providing better training to staff within the criminal justice system. It focuses on five areas: training, use of force, collaboration, mental health services within the criminal justice system, and access to and delivery of mental health services.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • A mental health and justice liaison committee.
  • A provincial mental health strategy to address issues relating to access and delivery of services.
  • A diversion program, the Integrated Adult Restorative Justice Pilot Program, which is operating in two communities.
  • The mental health court, which opened in November 2009, to ensure that people assigned to it receive the care and support they need.

In 2012, the province will release its progress report on the plan.