2010

This paper alyses factors involved in Indigenous deaths associated with police contact in Australia since the Royal Commission of Inquiry, with a view to identifying possible points of prevention. Coronial reports were collected of 98 cases of Indigenous deaths, occurring in police custody or during custody-related operations between 1992 and 2008. Cases were content alysed for individual and situatiol variables, as well as Coroner recommendations. These variables are reported around a framework of the stages of the incident from the initial information or contact through to an officer decision to detain and subsequent aftercare. Subsets are detailed by cause of death. Key issues that affect these stages include the role of alcohol, crimil behaviour and mental health. Suggestions for prevention focus upon altertives to the decision to detain in police custody, particularly for minor offences, and improvements in aftercare, particularly regarding police custody procedures.