A report published today by UK charity Inquest has claimed that although there are many lessons to be learned from deaths in prison and police custody, these lessons are being ignored because of the lack of an official body to enforce them. The charity has been examining the issue of deaths in custody since 1981.
The report argues that coronial inquests have to potential to be a method of monitoring the standards of custodial care being provided, and if utilised correctly can contribute to preventing future deaths.
Ultimately, Inquest makes five specific recommendations including; ensuring that there is a consistent approach to dealing with all coronial inquests into deaths in custody, gathering and distributing easily comprehensible data, comprehensive analysis of that data, and publication of results.
Read the report in full here.
In Ireland, 21 year old Gary Douch was murdered in Mountjoy Prison on August 1st 2006. A committee of investigation was established in May 2007, with its report expected by the end of that year. That report is yet to be published.