The Deaths in Custody Project is a pro bono project that was created by Professor Tamara Walsh.
The key aim of this project is to create a national database of all publicly accessible deaths in custody. Currently, the coroners in each state and territory follow discrete legislation and each have their own websites on which they publish their inquests. Our database records deaths in custody from all of the jurisdictions in one place, which allows for comprehensive analysis of national trends and comparisons between jurisdictions.
Since 2016, a small group of UQ law students have volunteered their time once a week to read and record information from all inquests made public since 1991. Our researchers read the relevant coroners’ reports in their entirety and synthesise the key information into a comprehensive dataset that can now be used for analysis and research.
We launched this website in August 2018 with results recorded up until 2016. Students continue to meet each week to read new coroners’ reports and this database will be updated annually to maintain relevance and comprehensiveness.
We acknowledge the distress and pain that individuals, families and communities suffer as a result of deaths in custody. We aim to approach this project with respect and compassion. To maintain privacy we have anonymised our data.
This project adheres to university ethical review process guidelines and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. If you would like to speak to someone about the project’s ethical obligations, you can contact Tamara Walsh, or if you would like to speak to an officer not involved in the project, you may contact the Ethics Coordinator on +61 7 3365 3924.
Professor Tamara Walsh
- 2016: Louise Scarce (Team Leader), Angelene Counter, , Suvradip Maitra, Alex Pringle, Clare Scrine, Jaya Prasad, Lucy Burke, Sean Robinson, Carolyn Holdom, Catherine Chan, Claire van der List.
- 2017: Angelene Counter (Team Leader), Ella Rooney, Chris Clur, Hannah Stadler, Isabelle Shoshani.
- 2018: Angelene Counter (Team Leader), Hannah Stadler, Lauren Causer, Ella Rooney, Jane Hall, Olivia Duce, Lucy Cornwell, Sarah Hamid.
- 2019: Hannah Stadler (Team Leader), Eashwar Alagappan, Lucy Cornwell, Sarah Hamid, Isaac Gill, Elizabeth Aisi.
- 2020: Eashwar Alagappan (Team Leader), Maddy Waldby, Mitree Vongphakdi, Lucy Cornwell.