A 47-year-old man has died in the Pilbara’s Roebourne Regional Prison, the third Aboriginal death in custody in Western Australia in the past two months.
The Department of Corrective Services said the man was discovered unconscious in his six-person dormitory cell at the prison on Wednesday morning by officers.
“Efforts by prison medical staff and paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful,” the department said in a statement.
Local police attended and a report will be prepared for a coronial inquest – which follows every death in custody.
“There does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances,” the statement said.
Three Aboriginal people have died in WA prisons in the last 6 weeks. I’m so tired. #BlackLivesMatter
— Meriki Onus (@MerikiKO) July 29, 2020
Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall has extended his condolences to the man’s family and is travelling to Roebourne.
Support will be offered to the family and other prisoners at the site.
Acting Corrective Services Minister Stephen Dawson offered his sympathies to the man’s family and loved ones.
“It is terrible to hear about this death in custody,” he said in a statement.
“It is inappropriate to comment on the circumstances surrounding a prisoner’s death as these matters are subject to a coronial inquest.
“The department will exercise all due care supporting the prisoner’s family and the prisoners and staff at Roebourne Prison.”
The department said it would seek cultural advice from community elders in responding to the death in custody.
Earlier this month, a 19-year-old man died after an incident at Acacia Prison, east of Perth, and a 40-year-old Aboriginal man died at the same prison on June 5.
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