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Image Credit – Robert Hickerson

The ACT Government’s duty of care for inmates at Canberra’s jail has been brought into question, following the death of a 29-year-old prisoner over the weekend.

Prison staff tried to revive the man who died inside the Alexander Maconochie Centre on Saturday night, after a fellow inmate raised the alarm about his condition.

Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury said any death in custody is a tragedy and of deepest concern.

“On behalf of the ACT Government, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the individual,” he said.

“I am further advised that no disturbances were reported around the time of the incident.”

But Shadow Corrections Minister Giulia Jones said regardless of the circumstances, it still raises concerns.

“We’ve had eight reviews into the prison, 349 recommendations for change, the Government suggests they are doing that change, but I still have grave concerns about people’s safety in our prison,” she said.

“Unless this is a death from very natural causes, then people have a right to be quite concerned.”

An independent inquiry into the prison was launched last year after Steven Freeman was found dead in his cell.

“We have an ongoing coronial inquest into the last death at the prison. Unless things are very cut and dry, we’ll have to have something similar to find out what has happened and why it is that we are losing the lives of detainees while they’re inside,” Ms Jones said.

Police are investigating.

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