The Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody: Aspects of medical interest

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Abstract

The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was established in a climate of deep suspicion about the treatment of Aboriginal detainees in Australian prisons and police lock-ups. Three and a half years of exhaustive enquiry have resulted in a mammoth report which not only deals with the problems in the criminal justice system that contribute to these deaths but also discusses in detail the current state of Aboriginal society in Australia. It is the Commission's view that improvements in the lives of Aboriginal people will only occur if they are given the power to bring about those improvements themselves. The Commission's report inevitably has much to say about health matters. This review concentrates on these health matters as they affect Aboriginal people generally, and more specifically, after they arrive within the criminal justice system. The Commission's views about the medical aspects of the investigations of the deaths once they occurred are also summarised as are some of the issues which are at the root of why Aboriginal people are grossly over represented in custody.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-814+816
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume155
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes

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