It is with great sorrow that Corrections Victoria acknowledges the passing of a 30-year-old Aboriginal prisoner at Sunshine Hospital.
The death of any person in custody is a heartbreaking tragedy and the team at Corrections Victoria sends its deepest condolences to the woman’s family.
The woman was transferred to Sunshine Hospital last week from Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. On Monday 29 November 2021, the woman passed surrounded by family members at the hospital.
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.
The Aboriginal Justice Caucus was advised, and Corrections Victoria staff continue to work closely with the Caucus and the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.
Corrections Victoria has been providing support to the deceased woman’s family to ensure culturally appropriate notification and grieving processes are followed.
We will continue to support the woman’s family and consult with Caucus and community organisations.
The women at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre are also being supported and a Smoking Ceremony is being arranged.
The Coroners Court of Victoria will formally determine the time and cause of death, in accordance with usual process.
The department will publish non-identifying information regarding deaths in custody as soon as practical once the family or next of kin has been informed. If the next of kin requests that information is not published online, we will respect these wishes.