Number of Indigenous deaths in custody Australia between 2008 and 2019 by state

Between 2008 and August 2019 a total of 51 Indigenous Australians died while in custody in Western Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait people are disproportionately represented at all levels of the justice system in Australia. Just under two percent of the population in Australia is identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, but around 20 percent of the deaths in prison and deaths in police custody were of Indigenous people.

Number of Indigenous deaths in custody in Australia between 2008 and 2019, by state

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

January 2008 to August 2019

Supplementary notes

Numbers display the accumulated deaths in custody that occurred between 2008 and August 2019.

The release date is the date of access.

People are considered to have died in custody if they:

  • - are held in the physical or legal custody of a prison, a youth detention centre, or of police at the time of their death
  • - have died as the result of traumatic injuries sustained or lack of sufficient care provided while in custody, even if that period of custody has now ended
  • - are fatally injured in the process of attempts by police or prison officers to detain them
  • - are fatally injured while trying to escape police, prison, or youth detention custody.

Also included all deaths that are supposed to have occurred in the presence of police officers, including deaths from self-inflicted injuries. These include deaths that occurred during a welfare check by police, or attempts by police to prevent someone from committing self-harm.

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Statistics on "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia "

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