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Deaths in custody

  1. Amnesty International. 1996, Amnesty International Report 1996, (pp. 80-82), Amnesty International Publications, London.

    The report documents Amnesty International's work and its concerns throughout the world during 1995. Entries are made for each country. The Report's entry for Australia focuses on deaths in custody and the disproportionate rate of Aboriginal deaths in custody. It looks at the ill-treatment of indigenous people in detention and federal legislation on the detention of asylum-seekers who entered the country without immigration documents. Discusses specific cases of deaths in custody and the investigations into 10 fatal shootings by police in Victoria in 1994 and their histories of mental illness.

  2. Biles, D. 1991, 'Deaths in Custody in Britain and Australia', The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 30, no. 2, May, pp. 110-120.

    An examination of the available evidence relating to deaths in prison and police custody for Britain and for Australia reveals that the Australian prison crude death rate is twice as high as the equivalent rate for England and Wales. There were equal proportions of suicides in both groups, but the prison deaths from England and Wales were much more likely to be among remandees than was the case in Australia. the Scottish prison death rate was found to be slightly higher than that of England and Wales, but also much lower than the Australian rate. A comparison of the rates of death in police custody also produced interesting differences with the Scottish rate being the highest. This was followed by Australia, with England and Wales again being found to have the lowest rate. A closer examination of the data for England and Wales and Australia revealed that a higher proportion of the Australian deaths in police custody was self-inflicted and that proportionately many more of the British deaths in police custody occurred in hospitals rather than in police stations. An examination of the figures for each year showed that 1987 was a particularly bad year for prison suicides in both countries. There were also higher than expected numbers of other deaths in custody in 1987 in Australia, but this pattern was not reflected in the British data of deaths in police custody. Possible explanations for these findings are considered together with their implications for reducing deaths in custody.

  3. Biles, D. and McDonald, D. eds. 1992, Deaths in Custody Australia, 1980-1989: The Research Papers of the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    The set of papers contained within breaks new ground in criminological research, and provides a sensitive, comprehensive analysis of the complex issue of deaths in custody. The research reveals that the high Aboriginal death rate is explained, almost entirely, by the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody. Interestingly, there are differences between the findings relating to the various Australian jurisdictions, and also between police and prison custody. In addition, comparisons are drawn with experience overseas. The following is a list of the papers contained in the volume: 1. Preliminary Analysis of Current Data Base / David Biles (Research Paper No. 1) ; 2. Draft Guidelines for the Prevention of Aboriginal Deaths in Custody / David Biles (Research Paper No. 2) ; 3. Public Drunkenness - Australian Law and Practice / Jillian Brewer (Research Paper No. 3) ; 4. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population / Rosaleen Smyth (Research Paper No. 4) ; 5. Drug Testing in Prisons / David McDonald (Research Paper No. 5) ; 6. Aboriginal Imprisonment - A Statistical Analysis / David Biles (Research Paper No. 6) ; 7. Australian Deaths in Custody, 1980-88: An Analysis of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Deaths in Prison and Police Custody / David Biles, David McDonald and Jillian Fleming (Research Paper No. 7) ; 8. National Police Custody Survey, August 1988: Preliminary Descriptive Findings / David McDonald (Research Paper No. 8) ; 9. The Design of Safe and Humane Police Cells: A Discussion of Some Issues relating to Aboriginal People in Police Custody / Joseph P. Reser (Research Paper No. 9) ; 10. Australian Deaths in Police Custody 1980-88: An Analysis of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Deaths / David Biles, David McDonald and Jillian Fleming (Research Paper No. 10) ; 11. Australian Deaths in Prisons 1980-88: An Analysis of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Deaths / David Biles, David McDonald and Jillian Fleming (Research Paper No. 11) ; 12. Deaths in Non-Custodial Corrections - Australia and New Zealand, 1987 and 1988 / Jillian Fleming, David McDonald and David Biles (Research Paper No. 12) ; 13. National Police Custody Survey, August 1988: National Report / David McDonald (Research Paper No. 13); 14. Alcohol and Human Behaviour / Janet Greeley and David McDonald (Research Paper No. 14) ; 15. International Review of Deaths in Custody / David Biles (Research Paper No. 15) ; 16. Self-Inflicted Harm in Custody / Jillian Fleming, David McDonald and David Biles (Research Paper No. 16) ; 17. Methodological Issues in the Calculation of Over-Representation and Exposure to Risk in Custody / David McDonald and David Biles (Research Paper No. 17) ; 18. Arrests, Custody and Bail, Kalgoorlie, 1987 and 1990 / David McDonald (Research Paper No. 18) ; 19. Aboriginal People in Prisons and Non-Custodial Corrections / David Biles and David McDonald (Research Paper No. 19) ; 20. Australian Deaths in Custody, 1980-89: An Epidemiological Analysis of the Relative Risks of Death for Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal People / Neil Thomson and David McDonald (Research Paper No. 20) ; 21. The Royal Commission Cases: A Statistical Description / David Biles, David McDonald, Robyn Draper (Research Paper No. 21) ; 22. Overview of the Research Program and Abstracts of Research Papers / David Biles and David McDonald (Research Paper No. 22). An appendix to the book contains an extract from the Terms of Reference of the RCIADIC.

  4. Biles, David. 1991, 'Deaths in Custody: The Nature and Scope of the Problem', Criminology Australia, vol. 2, no. 4, April/May, pp. 7-9.

    This article states the problem of deaths in custody, whose problem it is, causes of death, the psychology of hanging, the reporting of suicide, self-inflicted harm, monitoring trends and other aspects of the problem. It also looks at the definition of a 'death in custody' Generally, it outlines the nature and scope of the problem of deaths in custody.

  5. Biles, David. 1991, 'Safety in Criminal Justice', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 23(2-4), June-December, pp. 14-17.

    Paper to 23rd Congress on Criminal Justice, Victoria, British Colombia, Canada, October 1991. The author was asked specifically to address the issue of safety in relation to criminal justice and proceeds to describe research findings from his period as Consultant Criminologist and Head of Research with the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. In particular is described a study examining the relative incidence of deaths among the population of persons serving non- custodial correctional orders, that is persons serving principally probation, parole and community service orders. This study is important because it enabled a comparison to be made between the likelihood of death in prison and death in the community of reasonably similar types of people.

  6. Brady, Patricia. 1994, 'Review of Deaths in Custody Australia, 1980-89: The Research Papers of the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Australian Journal of Social Issues, eds Biles, D. and McDonald, D.,pp. 94-5.

    A book review of the twenty-two research papers written between 1988 and 1991 by researchers within the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

  7. Cunneen, C. 1993, 'Deaths in Custody Revisited: A Book Review of Deaths in Custody in Australia, 1980-89, The Research Papers of the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, eds. Biles, D. and McDonald, D.', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 5, no. 1, July, pp. 113-114.

    A book review of the twenty-two research papers written between 1988 and 1991 by researchers within the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The publication is useful for anyone requiring access to some of the specific empirical information on a range of related subjects.

  8. Dalton, V. and McDonald, D. 1995, Australian Deaths in Custody and Custody-related Police Operations, 1994-95, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 11 (December 1995), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the ninth paper in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. The report notes that there has been a significant decline in the number of deaths in police custody since the Royal Commission reported in 1991. However, little improvement has occurred in the key areas of reducing the over-representation of Indigenous people in prison, and in the year under review, reducing the number of deaths in prison custody.

  9. Dalton, V. and McDonald, D. 1995, Australian Deaths in Custody and Custody-related Police Operations, 1994, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 9 (September 1995), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the ninth paper in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. The central findings of the report are that the total number of people who died in prison custody during 1994 is equal to the highest figure recorded in Australia since data were first collected in 1980. The number of Aboriginal prison deaths in 1994 is substantially higher than that observed at any time over the last 15 years.

  10. Dalton, V., Brown, M. and McDonald, D. 1996, Australian Deaths in Custody and Custody- related Police Operations, 1995, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 12 (May 1996), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the twelfth report in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. The report reveals that during the 12 month period to 31 December 1995 a total of 86 deaths persons died in custody. The 86 deaths comprised 21 Aboriginal people and 65 non-Aboriginal people. In fact, the number of persons to die in all forms of custody has risen by 30 percent from 66 in 1990 to 86 in 1995. Also revealed in the report is the disturbing finding of the sharp increase in the number of Aboriginal prison deaths. During the year, 16 Aboriginal people died in Australian prisons, a 45 per cent increase on 1994 when 11 deaths occurred. This figure is the highest ever recorded for any of the sixteen years for which data are available. Also, for the second consecutive year, the total number of people who died in prison custody during 1995 is the highest figure recorded since 1980, almost doubling from 30 in that year to 58 in the current year. The report also notes that the number of deaths in police custody and police operations which occurred during the 12 months is similar to the 1994 figure. There were no Aboriginal deaths in police lockups during 1995, although there were three non-Aboriginal deaths in police lockups during the year. Unfortunately, while there have been improvements in the area of deaths in police custody in institutional settings, the number of people who died during the year in custody-related police operations has increased threefold over the previous year from 5 to 16 deaths. Coronial inquests are held into each custodial death. The report summarises the manner of death and the coroner's findings and recommendations in 21 recently finalised cases. It shows that the coroner's recommendations, if systematically implemented by the police and prison authorities, are powerful tools for preventing future custodial deaths.

  11. Davis, B. 1996, 'Deaths in Custody: An Aboriginal Viewpoint', Police News, September, pp. 68-69.

    This article is in response to Mr Brian Goodall's comments on 'Deaths in Custody, Where to Now?' in the April issue of Police News. Mr David is disheartened with the attitudes of some in the NSW Police Service who are at a cross road with the deaths in custody issues. The understanding between white and black people is appalling in many parts of the country, as is the relationships between Aborigines and police. Racist attitudes still exist today, but it is dangerous when these attitudes exist among police and are tolerated.

  12. Dooley, E. 1991, 'Unnatural Death in Prison: Is There a Future?', Prison Service Journal, vol. 84, Autumn, p. 3.

    This article is drawn from a talk given by the author to an ISTD conference on 'Death in Custody'. Public and official concern has been exacerbated by the dramatic increase in prison suicides during the last few years. In 1990 a total of 50 prison inmates killed themselves in England and Wales. The author undertook a review of all unnatural deaths occurring among those in prison custody in England and Wales during the years 1972 to 1987 inclusive. Those deaths which received a coroner's verdict of suicide were studied as well as other unnatural death verdicts. This paper summarises the findings of this research and comments on the implications for minimisation or prevention of death in prison.

  13. Goldney, R. D. 1993, 'Deaths in Custody', The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 159, November, pp. 572-3.

    This review by Goldney responds to two articles by McDonald and Thomson, both published in this same volume of the Medical Journal of Australia in November 1993. Goldney says these recent studies added support to the 1987 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in shifting the blame off police for Aboriginal deaths occurring while in police custody. Goldney reiterates that these papers clearly indicate that there is not a differential rate of death for Aborigines and non-Aborigines in our prisons, although data demonstrate differences between the general health of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. He concluded that reducing the mortality of those in police custody would only occur if the medical profession supported the custodial services in being firm advocates for the provision of better health facilities for all Australians at each stage of the custodial process.

  14. Great Britain. Home Office 1991, 'International Conference: Deaths in Custody', Prison Service News, May, p. 11.

    This article is a transcript of the opening address to an international conference on deaths in custody held at Kent University, Canterbury, 25 March 1991. the opening address was delivered by the minister with responsibility for prisons. It outlines six issues considered relevant to the prevention of suicide in prisons. There issues are: 1. the reception process; 2. the quality of health care; 3. relationships between prisoners and staff; 4. the provision of useful activity for prisoners; 5.the prisoner's physical environment, including population levels; and, 6. contacts with the outside world.

  15. Halstead, B., McDonald, D., and Dalton, V. 1994, Australian Deaths in Custody and Custody- related Police Operations, 1993-94, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 8 (February 1995), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the eighth paper in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. Unfortunately, a key finding of this report is that the number of deaths of Indigenous Australians in prison during the 1993-94 year is far higher than the previous year. Illness, predominantly heart disease, accounted for most of the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody, reflecting a pattern occurring since 1980 in which natural causes were responsible for almost half of Aboriginal deaths overall.

  16. Hogan, M., Brown, D. and Hogg, R., eds. 1988, Death in the Hands of the State, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing Ltd, Redfern, N.S.W.

    Death in the Hands of the State is a critical account of some controversial NSW cases of deaths in police custody and prisons, and the coronial system which deals with them. It questions the circumstances and handling of such deaths and identifies serious flaws in the law and practice about police powers, prison conditions, coronial investigations and inquests. The book suggests ways to increase public scrutiny and accountability of state agencies. The first section deals with a series of case studies of deaths in custody, illustrating not only the range of questions raised about the circumstances in which they occurred, but also the serious deficiencies in the processes by which they were subsequently investigated; in short, how it was that many of the most critical questions remained unanswered (and continue to remain so). The second section combines some brief reviews and comments on some of the general issues, developments and available literature with an examination of a couple of issues in considerable depth. In particular, the very lengthy paper on the coronial system provides both an immensely detailed and critical analysis of current practice and the outline of a program of reforms in this most crucial area affecting the nature and quality of public accountability for deaths in the hands of the state.

  17. Howlett, C. and McDonald, D. 1994, Australian Deaths in Custody 1992-93, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 6 (February), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the sixth paper in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. This paper presents information on the deaths which occurred in police and prison custody throughout Australia during the twelve month period 1 July 1992 to 30 June 1993, as well as summary data on the whole period since 1980. The purpose of the paper is to provide policy makers, the managers of custodial facilities and the public with information which will enable them to remain aware of trends in custodial deaths, both nationally and at the State/Territory level. On the positive side, it is pleasing to note from this report that in this period, the number of deaths of indigenous people was lower than that of the previous two years. Sadly, though, the number of deaths of non-indigenous deaths has increased by some 40 per cent above the previous year's figure. The facts presented in this report emphasise the necessity for the full implementation of the many recommendations of the RCIADIC.

  18. Liebling, A., and Ward, T., eds. 1994, Deaths in Custody: International Perspectives, Whiting and Birch Ltd, Forest Hill, London.

    Deaths in custody remains one of the most urgent yet poorly researched issues in criminology, sociology and public policy. Internationally, increasing concern about suicides in prison, about the future of prison health care, and about conditions and treatment in custody have resulted in many recent changes in practice, pressure group action and modifications in our understanding of the nature of imprisonment. Despite this interest, there appear to be few books covering this subject. This international collection, prepared under the auspices of the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency brings together contributions from academics, practitioners and volunteer organisations. It provides the first comprehensive and international overview of the nature and extent of the problem. Successful management and prevention techniques are outlined.

  19. Lincoln, Robyn. 1993, 'Book review of Deaths in Custody Australia, 1980-89: The Research Papers of the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, eds. Biles, D. and McDonald, D.', Australian Journal of Social Issues, no. 2, pp. 94-5.

    A book review of the twenty-two research papers written between 1988 and 1991 by researchers within the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

  20. McDonald, D. 1994, 'The Monitoring of Australian Deaths in Custody: Some Contemporary Issues', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 6, no. 1, July, pp. 76-89.

    The paper presents an overview of a number of contemporary issues concerned with monitoring and research into deaths in custody, focusing on the work of the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC). It outlines the work being by the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit at the Institute of Criminology which was established in 1992 as part of the Commonwealth Government's response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The paper gives a brief overview of Australian custodial deaths over the last twelve or thirteen years, refers to the complicated issue of defining a custodial death and discusses some of the public policy considerations surrounding epidemiological analyses of custodial deaths and the impact of the media. The paper concludes with a reference to the contribution that monitoring and research can make as part of Australia's overall response to custodial deaths generally and to the deaths of Aboriginal people in custody, in particular. This paper was presented to a Public Seminar Convened by the Institute of Criminology, The University of Sydney, on 29 September 1993.

  21. McDonald, D. and Howlett, C. 1992, Australian Deaths in Custody 1990 and 1991, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 1 (October), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    As part of the Commonwealth's response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody the Australian Institute of Criminology has established a program to monitor and conduct research into deaths in custody. This report is the first of a series of publications emanating from that program. It focuses on the deaths in custody which occurred in Australia during the 1990 and 1991 calendar year, updating information published by the Royal Commission on the custodial deaths which occurred during the 1980-89 period.

  22. McDonald, D. and Howlett, C. 1993, Australian Deaths in Custody 1992, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 4 (August), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the fourth paper in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. The paper presents information on deaths which occurred in police and prison custody and juvenile detention in Australia during 1992. It updates the information contained in the first paper in this series which provided detailed information on the 1990 and 1991 deaths, along with summary data on the whole period since 1980. The paper shows that the number of custodial deaths throughout Australia in 1992 was similar to the previous year and that in fact there has been little change in the incidence over the last five years.

  23. McDonald, D. and Thomson, D. 1993, 'Australian Deaths in Custody, 1980-1989: Causes', The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 159, November, pp. 581-85.

    This article focuses on the causes of death among people who died in custody through Australia in the 10-year period 1980-1989. The research reported here extends earlier work by the Royal Commission's own National Research Unit, and summarises data presented to the Royal Commission. Much of the overseas and Australian research into custodial deaths has taken suicide and other self- inflicted deaths as its focus. This article takes a broader approach, looking at suicide and self- inflicted deaths as well as other causes of death.

  24. Morrison, S., McDonald, D. and Dalton, V. 1994, Australian Deaths in Custody 1993, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 7 (June 1994), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the seventh paper in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. This paper presents information on the deaths which occurred in police and prison custody throughout Australia during the calendar year 1993, as well as summary data on the whole period since 1980. The purpose of the paper is to provide policy makers, the managers of custodial facilities and the public with information which will enable them to remain aware of trends in custodial deaths, both nationally and at the State/Territory level. It is of grave concern that the number of custodial deaths throughout Australia has increased, compared with the previous year. The fact that the increase was almost entirely among non-Aboriginal people in prison highlights the need for all States and Territories to take every step possible to implement fully the recommendations of the Royal Commission, in particular, that imprisonment be used only in the last resort, and that great efforts be made to ensure the well-being of those people who are imprisoned. The police services of Australia are to be commended for the fact that, in 1993, no indigenous deaths were reported in police lockups anywhere in Australia, and the total number of deaths in all forms of police custody is the lowest reported in any calendar year since 1989.

  25. Pounder, D. J. 1986, 'Death Behind Bars: An 11-year Survey of Prisoner Deaths in South Australia', Medicine, Science Law, vol. 26, no. 3, July, pp. 207-13.

    Prisoners are one of the most politically and legally vulnerable groups in our society. Every aspect of their lives is regulated by prison authorities and contacts with the outside world are limited and controlled. The possibilities for abuse are legion. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the death of a prisoner sometimes arouses suspicions of foul play or allegations of failure to provide adequate health care. However, despite the public interest generated by individual cases, prisoner deaths generally have been neglected by the medical profession, government and the community at large. Deaths are a blunt measure of the adequacy of health care. This paper analyses prisoner deaths in South Australia and focuses on some of the problem areas disclosed.

  26. Scraton, Phil and Chadwick, K. 1987, In the Arms of the Law: Coroners' Inquests and Deaths in Custody, Pluto Press, London.

    In the Arms of the Law is a powerful indictment of brutality and negligence in British police stations, prisons, hospital prisons and youth custody institutions. Based on six years of investigative research the book concentrates on those cases where such treatment has led to deaths in custody of other controversial circumstances, and on the legal processes for investigating them. The book: examines the facts and consequences of some of the most notorious cases; provides an in-depth historical analysis of the system of coroners' inquests; gives carefully-researched information about the deaths of women in custody - especially in Holloway prison; compares English and Scottis systems of coroners' inquests; outlines and evaluates recommendations for change.

  27. Scraton, Phil and Chadwick, Kathryn. 1986, 'Speaking Ill of the Dead: Institutionalised Responses to Deaths in Custody', Journal of Law and Society, vol. 13, no. 1, Spring, pp. 93-115.

    In 1980, following the controversy which surrounded the deaths of Jimmy Kelly and Blair Peach at the hands of the police, the deaths in custody project was founded. The main purpose of the project was to monitor specific cases of custody deaths - involving the police, prisons and secure institutions - and cases in which negligence or brutality were alleged. The project was funded to examine critically the relationship between the coroners' procedures and deaths in custody or in related circumstances. The project has examined the controversial tradition of the coroner's court, the contemporary structure and application of the procedures, a whole range of specific cases and the broader implication of the cases. Details of the cases mentioned above and others are detailed, including the inquests.

  28. Searcy, J. 1993, ''Prisons: Just Unfinished Business'', Broadside, no. 34, April 7, pp. 7-9.

    Jennifer Searcy recounts the circumstances of the death of her son while in prison. Jennifer Searcy has established the Campaign for Prevention of Custodial Deaths in her determination to seek justice over her son's death and prevent other such deaths occurring. The deaths of Joseph Dethridge and Steven Wardell are referred to. Jennifer Searcy started a newsletter. 'Deaths in Custody Newsletter' which now has a circulation of over 10,000 . The newsletter is produced with very little help from others. Both reforms to police training and practices and reforms to sentencing are needed to stop deaths in custody.

  29. Searcy, Jennifer. 1991, 'White Deaths in Custody in WA', Legal Service Bulletin, vol. 16, no. 1, February, pp. 44-5.

    Contrary to what has been represented in the media, the great majority of deaths in custody are not Aboriginal suicides. There have been 77 known deaths in custody since 1980 in Western Australia, and, of these, only eight were Aboriginal suicides. At least three-quarters of the 42 non- Aboriginal deaths were associated with inadequate medical treatment for a fatal illness or injury.

  30. Sivanandan, A. 1991, Deadly Silence: Black Deaths in Custody, Institute of Race Relations, London.

    This book is about 'black' people who have died in the custody of the police, the prison system and special hospitals and about the racist bias that has been woven into, and become an inextricable part of the culture and administration of these services. Black people who die in custody are predominantly Afro-Caribbean. There are 75 cases of black deaths recorded in the book, only one of which has resulted in a prosecution (of the police) and only in one has the family of the deceased received compensation.

  31. Thomson, N.J. and McDonald, D. 1993, 'Australian Deaths in Custody, 1980-1989: Relative Risks of Aborigines and non-Aborigines', The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 159, November, pp. 577-81.

    This article presents details of the relative risks of dying in custody for Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal people during the 10-year period 1980-1989. The article demonstrates that both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people have a much higher risk of dying in police custody, but a similar risk of dying in prison, compared with the risk of death experienced by the total population. There are no significant differences in the risks of death in custody experienced by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, a finding contrary to some community perceptions. This article summarises the results of research presented to the Royal Commission and extends that research by undertaking an epidemiological analysis of the relative risks of death in custody for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

  32. White, L., DiMaio, S., Petty, C. and Coke, A. 1977, Deaths in Custody, (unpublished paper).

    The paper reports on 83 deaths in custody studied by the Dallas Country Medical Examiner's Office during the six year period from 1970 to 1975 inclusive. The cases included persons confined or restrained at police stations, jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities and mental clinics or hospitals. Analysis includes discussion of causes of death, age, manner of death, type of offence, length of time in custody etc., as well as graphs and tables relating to these variables. In terms of preventative measures, careful screening of incoming prisoners is suggested.

  33. Winfree Jr., L. Thomas. 1987, 'Toward Understanding State-Level Jail Mortality: Correlates of Death by Suicide and by Natural Causes, 1977 and 1982', Justice Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 1, March, pp. 51-70.

    Censuses of America's local jails were conducted in 1978 and again in 1983. This paper examines the correlates of the state-level deaths by suicide and by natural causes reported in both censuses by more than 3,300 jails in 45 states. A critical feature of this period is the increased activity of the federal judiciary in the day-to-day affairs of local jails, as the 'hands-off' doctrine and the legal concept of municipal immunity were largely abandoned in the late 1970s. While several extra-and intra-institutional statewide features of America's jails were found to be significant in jailhouse deaths reported in 1978, only the total number of inmates at risk statewide consistently performed well in the analyses of both 1978 and 1983 jail census data. The policy implications of these findings are discussed at length.

  34. Winfree Jr., L. Thomas. 1988, 'Rethinking American Jail Death Rates: A Comparison of National Mortality and Jail Mortality, 1978, 1983', Policy Studies Review, vol. 7, no. 3, Spring, pp. 641-59.

    This article looks at recent concern about life and death in the nation's jails and at proposed minimum physical and mental health standards which have been employed by both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Correctional Association (AC), in co-operation with the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections, as integral parts of each organisation's accreditation standards for local detention facilities. Considerable external forces have been at work since the late 1970s mediating change in the living conditions present in American jails. Many of the standards established by AMA and ACA were essentially designed to reduce inmate deaths, including death by suicide and homicide. It is toward such cause-specific instances of death that this paper turns for an indication of the impact of both an active federal judiciary and concerned medical and correctional professionals on the conditions of dying in American jails. The present study initially focuses on three death rates, including suicide, homicide, and death by natural causes. There is a pressing need to develop methods of reporting jail death rates that more accurately reflect the 'at risk' jail populations than the current methods. In a given year, just how many people are truly at risk of dying in America's jail? Death rates employing this corrected base can better inform jail administrators and policymakers about the conditions of life and death in America's jail, as well as assist the judiciary in their far more active role in jail matters.

  35. Winfree Jr., Thomas L. 1985, American Jail Death Rates: A Comparison of the 1978 and 1983 Jail Census Data, (13-17 November), Annual Meetings of the American Society of Criminology, San Diego, California.

    This paper provides insights into the problem of jails deaths in America by drawing upon relevant data from the 1978 and 1983 National Jail Census and other official sources. The goals of the research were (1) to evaluate national death rate trends in and out of jail and (2) to analyse state-wide trends in both 1978 and 1983, in order to determine if those factors that provided insights into the incidence of jails deaths in the earlier census continued to yield the same level of explanatory power in the latter. Indeed, we found that, when an adjusted general population ('free society') death rate is employed, the death rates for certain causes are actually lower in jails. This generalisation, while true for natural causes and homicides, was not the case for suicides. Depending on which general population rates are compared with which jail rates, inmates committed suicide at a rate that was between five and 15 times higher than the rate for free citizens. The general trend in jail death rates was generally downward, although once again suicide rates have tended to exhibit less of a decrease than the rates for homicides and death by natural causes. At the state level, jail deaths in 1983 were largely understood in terms of the number of people placed at risk in a state's local jails. Five and one half years earlier, jail deaths were linked not only to exposure to risk, but also a number of other state- wide aspect related to local corrections.

  36. Zevitz, Richard G. and Takata, Susan R. 1989, 'Death in The Cellblocks: A Study of Inmate Mortality in Jail and Lockup Custody', CJPR, vol. 3, no. 1, 3/89, pp. 074-092.

    This descriptive study analyses 20 years of inmate mortality in municipal and county detention and corrections facilities. It is based primarily on documental research which examines 1) the content of official death records, 2) historical or comparative data on local jails and lockups, and 3) extant government statistics on inmate mortality and morbidity. Additional data were obtained from criminal justice agency files and from records of a community-based agency responsible or providing substance abuse and mental health treatment services for inmates. Although no single variable emerges a reliable predictor of in-custody deaths, certain sociological and demographic characteristics appear closely associated with such fatal occurrences. Findings suggest that the high mortality rate which occurs in local facilities could be reduced by improved inmate health care, proper training of custodial staff, and development of sensible operating policies.

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