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Deaths in custody in Australia : National Deaths in Custody Program annual report 2006

Research and public policy series no. 85

Jacqueline Joudo and Jane Curnow
ISBN 978 1 921185 65 6 ISSN 1326-6004
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, January 2008

Abstract

This report presents information on deaths in custody in Australian states and territories for the 2006 calendar year, including comparisons by jurisdiction and Indigenous status. Information is also presented on deaths in custody in Australian states and territories between 1980 and 2006 for prison custody and between 1990 and 2006 for police custody and custody-related operations. The report finds that in 2006 there were 54 deaths in custody (48 males and five females), comprising 31 deaths in prison custody and 22 in police custody and custody-related operations. One male died in juvenile detention. Eleven deaths were of Indigenous persons, and two of the seven hanging deaths with of Indigenous persons. Ten deaths occurred during motor vehicle pursuits (four Indigenous) and two deaths resulted from police shootings (both non-Indigenous). Violent offences were commonly the most serious offence committed immediately prior to the final period of custody in prison deaths, and violent and theft-related offences were most common in police custody and custody-related operations.