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Aboriginal Death in Custody at Port Philip Prison.

Port Phillip Prison sign

An Aboriginal man died recently in Truganina’s Port Philip Prison after receiving hospital treatment.

Having been transferred earlier that day to St Vincent’s Hospital for treatment, the 32-year-old man died in the medical unit of the maximum-security prison on Wednesday evening 10th of August.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Community confirmed the death in a statement.

“It is with great sorrow that Corrections Victoria acknowledges the passing of a prisoner at Port Phillip Prison,” the spokesperson said.

“As with all deaths in custody, the matter has been referred to the coroner, who will formally determine the cause of death.”

A full review of the death will be conducted by both the coroner and Corrections Victoria, according to Premier Daniel Andrews.

The justice system in Australia has a significant overrepresentation of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

The Indigenous inmate population in Australia has tripled over the past decade. First Nations Australians make up 30% of Australia’s prison population but only 3% of the Australian population.

In the time since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which was held 31 years ago, 512 Indigenous people have died in custody.

Friday afternoon, Corrections Victoria posted a statement on its website saying: “We recognise that all deaths in custody have impacts on family members, friends, victims and the broader Aboriginal community, and we’re working to ensure they are provided with the support they need.”

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