TORONTO, ON – An inquest into the prison death of a deeply troubled Moncton teen is finally set to start hearing evidence — just weeks into the new year.

It’s been five years since Ashley Smith choked in her cell in Kitchener, Ontario as guards stood by.

Observers say many of the same issues involved in her death still exist.

Prisoner advocates say they hope the inquest jury will come up with recommendations on dealing with the mentally ill who run afoul of the law.

Front-line guards have long complained they aren’t equipped to deal with the mentally ill and say they will be looking for
protocols on doing so.

Shocking surveillance video released in October showed authorities drugging the 19-year-old and duct-taping her wrists to a seat.