This chapter presents data on deaths that occur while in prison or after release from prison.
Deaths that occur in prison can happen for similar reasons to the deaths of people in the community, such as natural causes, illness or suicide. The Australian Institute of Criminology monitors deaths in prison (McAlister and Bricknell 2022).
Deaths that occur after release from custody are often due to preventable causes, such as suicide, injury or overdose. People who leave prison are at a higher risk of death than the general population, particularly in the first month after release (Bukten et al. 2022; Forsyth et al. 2018).
Bukten A, Skjærvø I and Stavseth MR (2022) ‘The association of prison security level with mortality after release from prison: a retrospective national cohort study (2000–16)’, The Lancet Public Health, 7(7):e583–e592, doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00107-4.
Forsyth SJ, Carroll M, Lennox N and Kinner SA (2018) ‘Incidence and risk factors for mortality after release from prison in Australia: a prospective cohort study’, Addiction, 113(5):937–945, doi:10.1111/add.14106.
McAlister M and Bricknell S (2022) Deaths in custody in Australia 2021–22, statistical report no. 21, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, doi:10.52922/sr78849.