The Deaths in Custody Project has been upgraded to provide legal professionals, journalists and researchers with improved functionality.
The database, launched in 2018 by the University of Queensland Law School, is the first comprehensive national database of its kind. It collects and records information from published reports of deaths in custody across all Australian states and territories.
The founder and director of the pro bono project, Professor Tamara Walsh, said the upgraded national database was “critical” for ensuring transparency within the corrections system.
“We have improved the search function to allow users to open each case in a new tab without losing their previous research results,” she said. “Each case has a unique ID record, which will help users find specific cases again for further investigation.
“The changes to the database will ensure anyone can get accurate and up-to-date information on deaths in custody as coroners’ inquest reports are released.”
The research work for the project is undertaken by law students, who collate and analyse information from coronial inquest findings across Australia. To date, the database contains information on almost 700 deaths in custody from 1991 to the present.