Aboriginal prisoner dies in Victoria

An Aboriginal prisoner in central Victoria became the second Aboriginal person to die in state custody in weeks.

Clinton Austin, a 38-year-old man from Gunditjmara and Wiradjuri, died Sunday in Loddon prison near Castlemaine, Victoria.

Mr. Austin’s family said they were devastated by his death.

“We can’t believe Clinton is dead. We don’t know how we will cope with the next few days, “his family said in a statement.

“Clinton had to get out of jail. He had decided to become an Aboriginal art teacher. His heart was for his son and for his art ”.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Victoria Corrections confirmed that the man died on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the community’s Justice and Security Department said the death was referred to the coroner to formally determine the cause of death.

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) claimed he was helping Mr. Austin’s family with the coronary process.

“We hope Victoria Coroner’s Court will thoroughly investigate Clinton’s death and respect and prioritize the voices of the Clinton family during the coroner’s investigation process,” said managing director Nerita. Waight in a statement.

VALS has serious concerns about the quality of health care provided to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in Victorian prisons.

“We call on the state government to address this issue urgently and provide community-equivalent and culturally safe prison health care.”

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said he was aware of the prisoner’s death.

“The death of whoever is in custody is of great concern to all of us,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr. Austin is the second Aboriginal man to die in custody in Victoria since a 32-year-old Aboriginal died last month in Port Phillip prison in the western part of the state.

Corrections Victoria announced the man’s death on 12 August.

“We recognize that all deaths in custody impact family members, friends, victims and the wider indigenous community, and we work to ensure they receive the support they need,” the agency said at the time.

Mr. Austin’s family said he was abandoned by the police and the justice system.

“We want to investigate his death so that people stop dying in prison. We don’t want other families to have to deal with what we are going through right now, ”they said.

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