Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Crime and justice >> Deaths in custody

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.

During 2002 (the most recent figures available), 69 people died in all forms of custody in Australia, a 21% decrease since 2001. Of the 69 deaths, 14 were of Indigenous persons. The largest number of deaths in custody recorded since 1990 was in 1997 (105), while the largest number of Indigenous deaths was in 1995 (21) (table 11.45).

11.45 DEATHS IN CUSTODY

Police
Prison
Total(a)



Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Total

1990
5
26
5
28
10
55
65
1991
5
26
8
31
13
57
70
1992
7
24
2
34
9
58
67
1993
3
28
7
42
10
71
81
1994
3
24
11
42
14
67
81
1995
4
22
17
42
21
66
87
1996
6
23
12
40
18
64
82
1997
6
23
9
67
15
90
105
1998
6
19
9
60
16
79
95
1999
6
20
13
46
19
66
85
2000
5
20
11
53
17
74
91
2001
5
26
14
42
19
68
87
2002
6
13
8
42
14
55
69

(a) Includes deaths that occurred in custody other than police or prison custody (such as juvenile detention).
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology, National Deaths in Custody database, 1990-2002.

During the period 1990-2002, the majority of deaths (65%) occurred in prison custody, while 34% were in police custody - 18% of all deaths in prison custody were of Indigenous prisoners. During this period, the proportion of the prison population that was 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, in 2002, both the Indigenous and the non-Indigenous death rates were 3.1 per 1,000 prisoners (graph 11.46). The death rate of non-Indigenous prisoners was higher than that of Indigenous prisoners in 1992, 1997 and 1998.

Graph - 11.46 Prison custody death rates


Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.