More deaths in custody

Issue 

More deaths in custody

SYDNEY — "The death of Adam Bessell, 53 years old, who died of a heart attack at Cooma Prison on April 21, only strengthens the Watch Committee's position that the Royal Commission recommendations must be implemented and utilised on a daily basis", said Ray Jackson from the Watch Committee.

The latest death brings the NSW death list to 38 since 1980 or 23 since May 1989. Nationally, the death list is now at least 70 since 1989. Late last week, a 25-year-old was found hanging by a bed sheet at Borallon Prison in Queensland.

"We have written to the appropriate ministers, including Premier Bob Carr, to arrange meetings to discuss solutions to the tragedies that continue to occur in the NSW prison system", Jackson said.

"To date only the minister for corrective services, Bob Debus, has replied. Surely the other ministers, including the premier, understand the urgent need for dialogue. Only the full and proper implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations and their daily utilisation on a monitored basis by custodial personnel will lessen the deaths in custody."