AIC releases new annual report on deaths in custody

Today we have released our Deaths in Custody in Australia 2022–23 report. From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 there were 110 deaths in custody – 70 in prison custody and 40 in police custody or custody-related operations. In total, there were 31 Indigenous deaths and 79 non-Indigenous deaths in custody. The report contains detailed information on these deaths and compares the findings with longer term trends.

The Australian Institute of Criminology’s (AIC) National Deaths in Custody Program has monitored the extent and nature of deaths occurring in prison, police custody and youth detention in Australia since 1980, following a recommendation made by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

AIC Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown said the Institute remains committed to providing accurate and policy-relevant research to assist in reducing the over-incarceration of First Nations people.

“Having timely and in-depth data is a key step towards informed early intervention and prevention strategies to reduce First Nations deaths in custody and improve justice outcomes.

“In June 2023, the AIC began reporting real-time deaths in custody online, to help focus attention and bring additional transparency and accountability to this serious issue,” he said.

While the dashboard uses preliminary data, the Deaths in Custody in Australia 2022–23 report provides a more extensive analysis of the issue using verified information.

More information and the full report can be found on the AIC website.

Background notes

The National Deaths in Custody Program (NDICP) is compiled from 2 main data sources:

  • NDICP data collection forms completed by all state and territory police services and correctional departments in Australia.
  • Coronial records, including transcripts of proceedings and findings, as well as toxicology and post-mortem reports, drawn from the National Coronial Information System.

The information presented in the report is quantitative and intended to provide an overview of statistical trends and patterns. It does not provide information on individual cases, or information of a more qualitative nature.

Data included in the real-time dashboard is supplied to the AIC by state and territory police and prison authorities through death notification forms and the dashboard is updated as the information is received. 


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