…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
The death in custody is alive and well. The myth of it, of course, as evidenced by the slogans and handy posters at the recent Brisbane G20 humbug:
The myth of high rates of Aboriginal deaths while in custody has been around for some time; the activistas could not resist flogging the dead horse (if that is a right simile) so in 1987 the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was set up. It investigated 99 Aboriginal deaths in police custody, youth detention centres and prisons between 1980 and 1989. Four years and $30 million later it found “46 per cent of deaths resulted from natural causes ( especially alcoholism and drug overdoses), 34 per cent from suicides, 15 per cent from injuries inflicted by non-custodians and only 5 per cent from custodians’ actions, but not person had deliberately caused a death or deliberately inflicted harm … A surprise finding was that Aboriginal men’s survival rates were better in prison than outside”. / Josephine Flood – The Original Australians, Allen & Unwin 2006, p. 246/
And to the present – Australian Institute of Criminology May 2013 Abstract: Compiled for two decades by the Australian Institute of Criminology, this report found both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous rates of deaths in custody have decreased over the last decade and are now some of the lowest ever seen (0.16 per 100 Indigenous prisoners and 0.22 per 100 non-Indigenous prisoners in 2010–11). For the last eight years in a row, the Indigenous rate of death in prison has been lower than the equivalent non-Indigenous rate.