Information

Deaths in Prison Custody Action Group

Overview

In November 2019, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice commissioned an independent review into the response to deaths in prison custody, in recognition of the need for increased transparency and better engagement with families following a death in prison custody. The Independent Review of the Response to Deaths in Prison Custody was published in November 2021. The review made one key recommendation, nineteen other recommendations and six advisory points. We accepted in principle all of the recommendations made by the review.

In April 2022, Gillian Imery was appointed as an external chair to provide independent oversight and leadership to the implementation of all the recommendations of the Independent Review. A Deaths in Prison Custody Action Group (DIPCAG) chaired by Gillian Imery has been established to oversee and support the work required to ensure effective, innovative and robust implementation of the recommendations and advisory points.

Membership of the group is made up of representatives of agencies with responsibility for responding to deaths in prison custody along with representatives of those bereaved by a death in prison custody. A Family Reference Group has also been established comprising of family members with lived experience of a bereavement in prison custody to support the work of the group. The group's vision is a consistent, person-centred, trauma-informed response to all deaths in prison custody with early independent scrutiny of the circumstances of a death, a focus on identifying trends and systemic issues and meaningful involvement of bereaved families.

Members

  • families bereaved by a death in prison custody
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • National Prison Care Network, NHS
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Police Service of Scotland
  • Families Outside
  • Scottish Government

Understanding and Preventing Deaths Working Group

 

This group has been established to deliver on recommendations 1.1 and 3.4 of the Independent Review of the Response to Deaths in Prison Custody

This  group reports to the Deaths in Prison Custody Action Group (DiPCAG) which oversees putting the recommendations on the Independent Review in place.

The group brings together leaders of national oversight bodies including:

  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • NHS Boards
  • Care Inspectorate
  • His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland
  • other relevant policy leads

The group works with families to develop a framework to prevent deaths in prison custody.

The group also supports compliance with the State’s Article 2 right to life obligations. To do this the group works with families and are  undertaking a review. The review will look into the main causes of all deaths in prison custody and what can be done to prevent such deaths.

Members

  • families bereaved by a death in prison custody
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • National Prison Care Network, NHS
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Care Inspectorate
  • His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland
  • Public Health Scotland
  • Community Justice Scotland
  • Scottish Government

Minutes

Understanding and Preventing Deaths Working Group minutes: December 2022

Understanding and Preventing Deaths Working Group minutes: September 2022

Understanding and Preventing Deaths Working Group minutes: July 2022

Documents

Contact

DiPCAG@gov.scot

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