published: 13 December 2016
Getting released from prison or police custody can be a huge shock to those who have been incarcerated.
Our new research gives an indication of just how vulnerable these people can be. We found that over a seven-year period, 400 people died of a suspected suicide within 48 hours of leaving police detention.
The number of people dying in prisons and in police custody has been increasing for several years. There is, rightly, a statutory obligation for every death that occurs within a state institution to be investigated by an independent body.
So each death in a prison is investigated by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO), while the equivalent in police stations are investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
But for people who die shortly after release from police or prison custody, their deaths are not subject to statutory investigation and are too often invisible.
Our research, published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, looked into non-natural deaths of people who have been released from police detention or prison custody.