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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135537 Find in a Library
Title: Deaths in Custody in Britain and Australia
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1991)  Pages:110-120
Author(s): D Biles
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: An examination of the available evidence on deaths in prisons and police custody for Britain and for Australia shows that the Australian prison crude death rate is twice as high as the equivalent rate for England and Wales.
Abstract: There were equal proportions of suicides in both groups, but the prison deaths in England and Wales were much more likely to be among remandees than was the case in Australia. The Scottish prison death rate was slightly higher than that of England and Wales, but much lower than in Australia. A comparison of the rates of death while in police custody showed Scotland to be the highest followed by Australia, England, and Wales. A closer examination of the data for England, Wales, and Australia found that a higher proportion of the Australian deaths in policy custody were self-inflicted and that proportionately many more of the British deaths in police custody occurred in hospitals rather than in police stations. An analysis of figures for each year revealed that the inmate suicide rate was particularly high in both Britain and Australia. Other deaths in custody were also higher than expected in Australia for 1987, but this was not true for Britain. Possible explanations for all the findings are considered together with their implications for the reduction of deaths in custody. 9 tables and 10 references
Main Term(s): Custody deaths
Index Term(s): Australia; Foreign correctional facilities; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Inmate suicide
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