The 30 year anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) falls on 15th April 2021.

Decades later, many of the Royal Commission’s recommendations have not yet been implemented. As we continue to wait, our people continue to die.

On the anniversary of RCIADIC, a paper has been released, ‘outlin[ing] concerns with the 2018 Deloitte Access Economics review of the implementation of the 339 recommendations of [RCIADIC]… argu[ing] that there is a risk that misinformation may influence policy and practice responses to First Nations deaths in custody, and opportunities to address the widespread problems in Indigenous public policy in Australia may be missed.’ You can read the paper here.

The Royal Commission in Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommended increasing access to bail as a crucial measure to reduce preventable deaths in custody.

The Andrews Government has been restricting access to bail.

VALS and over 50 community, legal, and human rights organisations have asked the Andrews Government for urgent bail reform focused on reducing preventable deaths in custody.

Read the letter here.

In June 2021, IBAC published the Special report on corrections: IBAC Operations Rous, Caparra, Nisidia and Molara.

The report highlighted an increase in corruption and mistreatment in Victoria’s prisons linked to prison expansion and privatisation.

Read VALS’ media release calling on the Andrews Government to end its tough on crime agenda here.

Since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down its report, at least 470 Aboriginal and/or Torres Straight Islander people have died in custody. We don’t have accurate, up-to-date numbers because Governments are either not keeping track or not being transparent.

You can read the RCIADIC report here.

VALS and Djirra have jointly called for a Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner to undertake an independent review into the implementation of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommendations. You can read our media release here.

As part of our Unlocking Victorian Justice webinar series, VALS hosted a panel of international experts on OPCAT – An opportunity to prevent the ill-treatment, torture and death of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody. You can watch the recording here.

You can find out more about how OPCAT can prevent Aboriginal deaths in custody by reading VALS’ factsheet here.

You can read our Joint open letter on ongoing and arbitrary use of 14 day quarantine in prisons here

We recommend that:

  • No person should ever be placed in solitary confinement. Instead of putting people at risk of being subjected to such a practice, the Victorian Government should be reducing the number of people being funnelled into prisons in the first place.
  • As a matter of priority, the Victorian Government must adopt a proportionate, human rights-compliant response to COVID-19 in prisons, which should include consideration of less restrictive measures that do not amount to cruel or degrading treatment and are consistent with robust health advice

VALS Justice Yarns Podcast -
RCIADIC 30th Anniversary chat with Senator Patrick Dodson.
VALS Justice Yarn Podcast –
RCIADIC 30th Anniversary chat with
Aunty Rosemary Roe

VALS Justice Yarn Podcast -
RCIADIC 30th Anniversary chat with Anyupa Butcher
VALS Justice Yarns Podcast –
RCIADIC 30th Anniversary chat with Lee-Anne Carter


** This page will be regularly updated with VALS research, policy and advocacy relating to RCIADIC and Aboriginal deaths in custody. If you have any queries, please contact Andreea Lachsz, Head of Policy, Communications and Strategy at alachsz@vals.org.au **