Australian Institute of Criminology

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Australian deaths in custody 1990 & 1991

David McDonald, Christine Howlett and Vicki Dalton
ISBN 0 642 18447 X ISSN 1038-667X
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, October 1993


This is the first of a series of reports to be compiled by the Australian Institute of Criminology's Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Program. It updates information previously published by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The paper explains how information on deaths in custody was collected; provides statistical and descriptive details of incidences, death rates, demographic characteristics, causes of death, and circumstances of custody; and discusses trends from 1980 to 1991 and implications for the future. During 1990/91, deaths in custody and death rates rose; Aborigines were overrepresented in prison deaths but there was a substantial drop in their deaths in police custody; and alcohol continued to play a prominent role in custodial deaths.


Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Program