Prisoners: Death

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 6th July 2017.

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Photo of Teresa Pearce Teresa Pearce Labour, Erith and Thamesmead

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how does a prison notify the next of kin of a prisoner's death in custody.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Each prison is required to have at least one family liaison officer or FLO. The FLO acts as the family’s chief point of contact with the prison. They must inform the prisoner’s nominated next of kin in person, as soon as possible following the prisoner’s death. If it is not possible to do this in person, for example because of distance, the FLO must arrange a follow-up visit promptly. They will then continue to meet the family and/or correspond with them, according to their wishes, to offer continuing information and support until all investigations of the death are concluded.

Further details can be found in Prison Service Instruction 64/2011, which can be viewed on

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