1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003
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In 1991 the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which investigated the deaths of 99 Indigenous persons in police or prison custody occurring between January 1980 and May 1989, presented its findings and recommendations. One of the outcomes was the establishment of a National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Program at the Australian Institute of Criminology.
For the years 1990-2000, 18% of all deaths in prison custody were of Indigenous prisoners. During this period, the proportion of the prison population who were Indigenous rose from 14% to 20%. In 1995 the crude death rate of Indigenous prisoners was more than twice that of non-Indigenous prisoners (5.7 and 2.4 respectively). However, by 2000 the Indigenous death rate was 2.7, compared with 2.4 per 1,000 for non-Indigenous prisoners (graph 11.36).