The mother of a man who died in Otago Prison is considering a private prosecution or civil action against those responsible.

Jai Davis, 30, died in a cell in February 2011 from a suspected drug overdose.

In findings released yesterday, Coroner David Crerar said Davis' death should be investigated by the Health and Disability Commissioner and that the role of police should also be probed.

Radio New Zealand reported today that Mr Davis' mother Victoria Davis was considering her legal options.


"Where was the duty of care to my son? What they did was criminal. It was not a systemic breakdown, it was criminal," she told the radio station.

Mr Davis had drugs inside him when he went into the Otago Corrections Facility as a remand prisoner in February 2011.

Although Corrections staff knew that from an intercepted phone call, he was placed alone in an at-risk cell and did not receive medical help. Two days' later he was dead.

The inquest into his death heard he had cannabis inside a plastic ziplock bag, and diazepam and dihydrocodeine pills in a pill bottle, which he had inserted inside himself.

Evidence showed that at least one or more times during his incarceration, Mr Davis had removed them and consumed the contents, before re-inserting them again.