The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was established in October 1987 in order to discover why so many Aboriginal people were dying in prison.
The findings of the Royal Commission and its recommendations were released in May 1991. The Commission made 339 recommendations regarding the redress of past and present disadvantage of Indigenous people.
Subsequently in July 1991, the Commonwealth, States and Territories agreed to develop a National Response to the Commission's recommendations. This response was to include full consultation with Indigenous people, community organisations and peak bodies.
The Commissioners found that in general, there was minimal appreciation and less dedication to the duty of care owed by custodial authorities and their officers to individuals in custody. They found system defects and a poor standard of care in general. In many cases, death was contributed to by these system failures or lack of due care.