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Deaths in Custody in Australia: National Deaths in Custody Program Annual Report 2007

NCJ Number
Jane Curnow; Jacqueline Juodo Larsen
Date Published
93 pages
This report presents information on deaths in custody in Australian States and territories for 2007 and long-term trend information on deaths in custody between 1980 and 2007 for prison custody and between 1990 and 2007 for police custody.
Highlights of key findings include: (1) 74 deaths occurred in custody in 2007 (45 in prison custody, 29 in police custody and custody-related operations); (2) the average age of persons who died in prison custody was 48 years; (3) 4 deaths occurred during motor vehicle pursuits and 4 deaths resulted from police shootings; (4) violent offenses were the most common serious offense committed immediately prior to the final period of custody in prison deaths; (5) a total of 1,206 deaths have been recorded in prison custody since 1980; (6) deaths of males have consistently outnumbered deaths of females since 1980; (7) hanging and natural causes have generally been the most common cause of death over this period; (8) the number of deaths in police custody and custody-related operations remained relatively constant between 1990 and 2004, the number declined in 2005 and 2006, and increased slightly in 2007; (9) the number of non-Indigenous deaths has been consistently greater than the number of Indigenous deaths each year; and (10) most deaths in police custody and custody-related operations have involved persons aged between 25 and 39, followed by ages less than 25 years. Tables, figures, references, and appendix