Family of prison inmate who died to receive compensation

SINGAPORE - The family of the prison inmate who died after suffering breathing difficulties while in an isolation cell will be compensated by the Government, which has also accepted liability.

This was revealed in parliament on Monday by Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran, in response to questions raised by MPs about the death of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah on September 27, 2010.

A senior prisons officer, the direct supervising officer then, was charged in court last month. Lim Kwo Yin pleaded guilty to causing death by a negligent act and was fined $10,000.

Mr Iswaran said: "The Ministry of Home Aaffairs (MHA) has been in touch with the family of Dinesh Raman and their lawyer to discuss the family's concerns, as well as the matter of compensation."

However, he declined to provide a figure or more details as discussions were ongoing.

The minister also revealed that the Prison Service has since reviewed its instructions on inmate Control and Restraint (C&R) techniques to greater emphasise the risk of positional asphxiation - found to have been the cause of Dinesh Raman's death - as well as measures to prevent such incidents.

One new measure is to have C&R techniques applied on inmates in a standing position where possible, said Mr Iswaran.

With the conclusion of the court case, the MHA has also started disciplinary action against the superintendent, supervisors and other officers involved in the incident, Mr Iswaran said.

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