The National Deaths in Custody Program (NDICP) monitors the extent and nature of deaths occurring in prison, police custody and youth detention from 1980 onwards. The NDICP was established at the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) in 1992 in response to a recommendation made by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC). The NDICP is supported by a steering group which provides advice on the program.
The types of deaths that require notification to the NDICP (recommendation 41, RCIADIC 1991) are:
- a death, wherever occurring, of a person who is in prison custody, police custody or youth detention;
- a death, wherever occurring, of a person whose death is caused or contributed to by traumatic injuries sustained, or by lack of proper care, while in such custody or detention;
- a death, wherever occurring, of a person who dies, or is fatally injured, in the process of police or prison officers attempting to detain that person; or
- a death, wherever occurring, of a person attempting to escape from prison, police custody or youth detention.
Data utilised for the NDICP is based on two main sources: data provided by state and territory police services and corrections departments; and coronial records accessed through the National Coronial Information System.