Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive

Aboriginal and non-aboriginal deaths in custody, Australia, 1980-1989

This study is one of several studies conducted for a Royal Commission inquiry into aboriginal deaths in custody. The study aims to provide information on deaths which occurred in police and prison custody throughout Australia in the 1980s, in order to place the phenomenon of aboriginal deaths in custody in the broader context of all deaths in custody during the period.

Topics covered include the time, environment and cause of the death, amount of time since the last inspection of the prisoner, responsibility for the death (e.g. suicide, accident), and characteristics of the custody (legal status, number of days in custody, custodial authority). Background variables include age, sex, race (aboriginal or non-aboriginal) and most serious offence of the offender, and geographical location.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, researchers and other users should be aware that material in this dataset may contain material that is considered offensive. The data have been retained because it represents an evidential record of language, beliefs or other cultural situations at a point in time.

In line with normal ADA policy, variables (such as postcode) which could possibly be used to identify individuals have been removed or recoded from the public data file. Much of the original data, however, have been made publicy available by other parties, and if researchers would like to access the original data files, they can contact ADA and make a case for gaining access to these data.
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