Death in custody should be explored before the criminal justice system and the buck should not be passed as happens. 2,300 Australian deaths in custody since 1980

In terms of culpability and liability the death of the Warburton Elder in the back of a prisoner transport typifies so many unwarranted deaths in custody in Australia including the Palm Island death in custody, the impaling death of the young man in Redfern, and so many thousands of other deaths. Australia has a long tragic history of deaths in custody, and is not limited to the horrific record during the last 31 years which has claimed in excess of 2,300 lives.

Deaths in Custody rally in Perth calls for end of prison privatisation

A rally in Perth on March 22 by the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee protested the increasing moves for prison privatization and in particular the death of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward while he was in private prison transport. The rally called for these services to be returned to public operation where they are accountable to the public through parliament.

The secretary of Western Australia's prison officers union, John Welch, called on the government to tear up its contract with the private company responsible for prisoner transport.