Indigenous prisoner dies at Casuarina Prison in latest death in custody case – Michmutters

Indigenous prisoner dies at Casuarina Prison in latest death in custody case

An Indigenous prisoner has taken his own life in his cell at Casuarina Prison.

Prison officers found the 32-year-old man, who is a father of two young children, unconscious in his cell at about 1.30pm on Sunday.

“Officers and prison medical staff provided first aid before paramedics arrived by ambulance,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.

“The prisoner was declared deceased at the prison.

“There were no suspicious circumstances.

“As with all deaths in custody, WA Police will provide a report to the coroner.”

It is understood the man had been in and out of Banksia Hill Detention Center from a young age.

The West Australian has also been told he had been held in the SHU — the special handling unit, which has been described as a “prison within a prison” — in the lead-up to his death.

National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project director Megan Krakouer said the McGowan Government “has to ask itself why this State has the nation’s highest prison suicide rate of First Nations people”.

Restorative justice advocate Gerry Georgatos said: “They key message that I always tell everybody – is that if you believe in people long enough they will believe in themselves.”

“That is a major way forward in preventing this from happening,” he said.

“For any person to take their life in a custodial setting, everything must’ve seemed to bleak. And that needs to be avoided, we’ve got to shine a light to hope and avoid the compounding bleakness of their prison setting.”

Just last week, a coronial inquest was held into the death of young Aboriginal man Jomen Blanket, who took his own life inside his cell at Acacia Prison in 2019.


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