Tangentyere 'cell visitors scheme' may have prevented death


Hourly visits to police cells checking on inmates were a routine task for social workers employed by Tangentyere, says former Alice identity Eddie Taylor (pictured).
He says for four or five years in the late 1990s the youth night patrol called at the police cells, spoke to all prisoners and made sure they were OK.
If they had any health issues the members of the “cell visitors scheme” would alert police officers.
Mr Taylor says Mark Payne, a senior sergeant at the time, “did a lot of work getting that initiative up and running”.
Mr Taylor says the scheme had been initiated by the Aboriginal Justice Advocacy Committee, which he chaired at the time, set up in the wake of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Mr Taylor says if the scheme had been continued, it may have saved the life of Kwementyaye Briscoe whose death in the police cells is the subject of a coronial enquiry.
Mr Taylor now lives in Tennant Creek. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.


  1. The reason any one dies from being in the police station is because they chose to keep drinking. I was the same. I gave up drinking 31 years ago and have not been locked up since. All this other stuff is utter bull. Booze is a drug and the only person who can change that problem is yourself. If you want to change, it’s up to you.

  2. Why bother, Kevin? Go and read the story of the Good Samaritan again (Luke 10: 33). See if you can discern between the Levites who passed the beaten man by and your attitude. While you’re at it, see if you can discern between between the thugs and robbers who laid him in the gutter and today’s free range alcohol suppliers.


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