The Ashley Smith story is a moving one but also sad and confusing.
This young girl, 19, was in a juvenile correction facility in Canada for 3 years, in solitary confinement, until she killed herself while the guards looked on.
Her parents and family members tell stories of Ashley as a child; happy, playful, charming. After puberty she changed, however. Some sort of mental illness came into play and her personality changed. She began to fight authority and display severe behaviour disorders.
Her legal problems began with assault and disorderly conduct and escalated until she was in a federal prison for women at age 19. She was a difficult inmate, causing constant problems and refusing to cooperate. She often tried to strangle herself in an attempt to draw attention from the guards and caused hundreds of filed reports.
Many people believe that her 2007 death was in fact an accident. That she was desperate for some type of stimulation after three years alone in solitary with a mental illness and no treatment whatsoever. According to a report she had been to 17 different isolation cells in 11 months.
My life I no longer love
I’d rather be set free above
Get it over with while the time is right
Late some rainy night
Turn black as the sky and as cold as the sea
Say goodbye to Ashley
Miss me but don’t be sad
I’m not sad I’m happy and glad
I’m free, where I want to be
No more caged up Ashley
Wishing I were free
Free like a bird.
Ashley Smith, 18 years old
October 1, 2006
New Brunswick Youth Centre
The Ashley Smith Report from the Canadian government- http://www.gnb.ca/0073/PDF/AshleySmith-e.pdf
Ashley Smith's Death was an Accident- http://joanr73.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/ashley-smiths-death-was-an-accident-not-suicide-report-says/