The troubled relationship between custodial authorities and prisoners' families has continued to draw criticism at deaths in custody inquests, with numerous coroners finding deaths may have been avoided had structures been in place to help family members assist in the prisoner’s care.

A Crikey analysis of the findings of inquests completed in the past decade has revealed that in at least 11 deaths, coroners commented on the failure or inability of family to successfully communicate to prison authorities information -- such as the ending of a relationship or marriage -- that would impact the inmate’s risk of self-harm or suicide.