QuestionsOnNotice

Questions on Notice No 5844
Answered
Assembly
59 Parliament First Session
Question
Asked: 18 March 2021

Question on Notice

Dr Read to ask the Minister for Corrections — For each quarter that is available in the financial years 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21:
 
(1) How many recorded incidents of self-harm occurred in the adult men's prison system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.
 
(2) How many recorded incidents of self-harm occurred in the adult women's prison system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.
 
(3) How many recorded incidents of self-harm occurred in the youth justice system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.
 
(4) How many unnatural deaths were recorded in the adult men's prison system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.
 
(5) How many unnatural deaths were recorded in the adult women's prison system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.
 
(6) How many unnatural deaths were recorded in the youth justice system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.
Answer
Answered: 7 February 2022

The data in the following tables represents the number of male and female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners recorded as being involved in self‐harm incidents. Involvement could mean self‐harming behaviour as well as circumstances such as being witness to the incident or reporting the incident.

 

Self‐harm incidents in prison involving male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

 

 

2017‐18

2018‐19

2019‐20

2020‐21

Incident type

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Self‐harm

28

18

8

12

18

22

25

25

14

30

11

22

38

35

27

17

 

Self‐harm incidents in prison involving female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

 

 

2017‐18

2018‐19

2019‐20

2020‐21

Incident type

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Self‐harm

7

7

9

9

9

5

5

6

5

4

9

2

7

8

10

6

 

Incidents of self‐harm in the youth justice system: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

 

 

2017‐18

2018‐19

2019‐20

2020‐21

Incident type

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Self‐harm

13

18

19

19

29

30

21

14

13

13

4

8

0

4

4

1

Comments:

All instances of self‐harm are recorded and reported to the independent Commission for Children and Young People.

Data notes: Data is as according to CRIS database at 8 October 2021. Owing to routine data validation and update, historical and reported figures are subject to change.

 

Unknown and unnatural deaths of male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

 

 

2017‐18

2018‐19

2019‐20

2020‐21

Incident type

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Unknown/ unnatural death

 

1

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

Unknown and unnatural deaths of female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

 

 

2017‐18

2018‐19

2019‐20

2020‐21

Incident type

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Unknown/ unnatural death

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

Additional comments: deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

Corrections Victoria classifies prisoner deaths into ‘unknown’, ‘unnatural’ and ‘natural’ based on available information at the time of death. These classifications may be amended when additional evidence becomes available, such as toxicology and autopsy reports, and/or when determined by the Coroner. Data in publications such as the national Report on Government Services may also require updating on the same basis.

All deaths in custody have impacts on family members, friends, corrections staff and the Aboriginal community. When Aboriginal deaths in prison occur, immediate support is provided to prisoners and staff, including cultural and smoking ceremonies, debriefing and support offered by Elders. In accordance with agreed protocols for Aboriginal deaths in custody, once Victoria Police has confirmed notification of next of kin, Corrections Victoria notifies the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, the Aboriginal Justice Caucus and the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

The Government is committed to providing a system that is responsive to the needs of Aboriginal prisoners, and to reducing the over‐representation of Aboriginal people in our justice system. Corrections Victoria has taken action to address those recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody that relate to the management, safety, security supports, and services provided to Aboriginal prisoners. These focus on prisoners’ health, safety and wellbeing. There are also a range of culturally specific programs and services available to support Aboriginal prisoners, including Aboriginal Wellbeing and Liaison officers at each prison. All prison officers also undertake Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training.

 

Unnatural deaths in the youth justice system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners

 

 

2017‐18

2018‐19

2019‐20

2020‐21

Incident type

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Unknown/ unnatural death

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

There have been no recorded ‘unnatural death’ incidents in the youth justice custodial system over the stipulated period.

 

The Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP

Minister for Crime Prevention

Minister for Corrections

Minister for Youth Justice

Minister for Victim Support

 

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