To monitor and work to ensure the effective implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
We work on the invitation of the family affected by a death in custody of a loved one, supporting them in any way we can to ensure they receive justice and prompt and adequate representation before the law.
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made 339 recommendations in its final report in 1991, many dealing with the custodial issues leading to harm or death, but a large number also addressing wider societal and cultural issues, most of which remain challenges today.
While the Royal Commission was a national inquiry, it recommended Deaths in Custody Watch Committees be set up in each state. The committee’s specific aim is to monitor and work to ensure the effective implementation of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and during the 1990s it was largely successful in keeping these issues on the agenda and in helping to realise some specific reforms within the WA Police department, the justice system, and most importantly some change in the culture and attitudes within these systems.
The core functions of the group are to highlight injustices in our criminal justice system affecting Aboriginal people, the ever increasing rate of Indigenous incarceration, systemic institutionalised racism and deaths in custody when they occur.
Anyone who is concerned about these issues is welcome to become a member of the Watch Committee and to get involved in our campaigns.