source: Express & Star
published: 1 October 2019
Grieving families are facing a “shocking” injustice when trying to get legal aid funding for the inquest of a loved one who died in state care, campaigners claims.
The ruling by Mr Justice Green enables relatives attending a coroner’s court to benefit from expert legal representation in cases where a state body is involved in a death.
Charities have called for an end to the disparity between the amount of publicly funded legal aid being provided to state bodies and families.
originally published: 26 July 2018
The Ministry of Justice has today (26 July 2018) released the latest statistics on safety, deaths and self-harm in custody. The data shows that levels of self-harm and violence in prison continues to escalate. While the number of overall deaths have reduced since 2016, they are still at historically high levels.
Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said:
“These statistics point to the disturbing reality of prison life with escalating levels of distress, self-harm, homicide and violence. The only way to improve safety and reduce prison deaths is to dramatically cut the prison population and invest in community alternatives.
The number of deaths awaiting classification in this period has more than doubled with the majority of people found unresponsive in their cells. The undetermined nature of these deaths raises questions as to whether they are drug related or due to undiagnosed or untreated health conditions.
source: The Law Gazette
published: 31 October 2017
Bereaved families of people who have died in police custody could be spared the ordeal of applying for legal aid, the government has hinted.
Responding to Dame Elish Angiolini QC’s independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody, published yesterday, the government said the lord chancellor will review existing guidance ‘so that it is clear that the starting presumption is that legal aid should be awarded for representation of the bereaved at an inquest’ subject to the director of legal aid casework’s ‘overarching discretion’.