Deaths in Prison Custody Action Group


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.


  • 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



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