26 September 2023

AIC to track deaths-in-custody reports

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A new dashboard monitored by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) is to provide up‑to-date information on all deaths occurring in police and prison custody as well as in youth detention.

This follows an announcement by Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus that urgent action would be taken “to turn the tide on the appalling rates of incarceration and deaths in custody of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians”.

“Real-time reporting of all deaths in custody is an important step towards bringing additional transparency and accountability to this serious issue,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“The dashboard is part of the Government’s First Nations Justice Package aimed at reducing the over-representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system.”

He said the real-time deaths-in-custody dashboard would provide aggregate information on all deaths in custody at the national level. Information would be provided on custody type (police or prison), Indigenous status (including unknown), and sex and age group of the deceased.

“The dashboard provides preliminary data. The AIC will continue to provide verified information on deaths in custody on a quarterly and annual basis,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Information included on the dashboard will be supplied to the AIC by State and Territory police and prison authorities through death notification forms, and the dashboard would be updated as the information was received.”

The real-time deaths-in-custody dashboard is available on the AIC website at this PS News link.

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