Inquest support for a
death in prison

When your loved one has died in prison – whether due to violence from another prisoner, suicide, or natural causes – an Article 2 inquest will be held to find out the circumstances surrounding their death.

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Here to help you get answers

Due to the secure and private nature of prisons, you and your family will likely have been given little, if any, information about the circumstances around your loved one’s death. It may therefore feel like you have many unanswered questions about what happened.

We have experience in a wide range of prison inquests, such as:

  • suicide or self-inflicted injuries
  • deaths caused by other prisoners
  • inquests involving the use of ‘spice’
  • deaths relating to medical issues, such as where the condition was not diagnosed properly or where treatment was not given as it ought to have been
  • deaths arising during drug withdrawal programmes in prison.

Our specialist inquest lawyers are experienced in investigating deaths in prison and can support you and your family through the inquest process to make sure that your concerns are properly addressed and your questions are answered.

We can advise you and your family from start to finish, and will attend the inquest alongside you to ask questions on your behalf and with your input. Our experience in prison inquests means we understand the specialist terminology used in prison settings, which can otherwise be daunting and confusing to a family member, and we know what documentation ought to be provided in advance of the inquest to understand the whole picture.

We will ensure specialist representation for you throughout the inquest hearing so that your concerns about what happened to your loved one whilst in the care of the state are properly addressed. We can also advise you in relation to bringing a claim against the prison if it is demonstrated that there was substandard care or treatment which caused your loved one’s death.

We understand that this will be an emotionally challenging process, during what is already a distressing time, and we will do our utmost to guide you through the process and to take the burden off you as far as possible.

We can also help put you in touch with specialist organisations that can provide further support during this difficult time. By way of example, we work closely with charity INQUEST, who provide an invaluable source of support and information where someone has died in prison.

Will I have to pay legal costs?

Often representation can be provided at no direct cost to you. We recommend you get in touch with our specialist team so we can advise you on the options available for you and which may best suit your particular case.

Is this just about money?

If negligence caused the death of your loved one, seeking financial compensation is an option. This can help to recompense you for expenses incurred as a result of the death, and also ensure peace of mind as you are compensated for lost earnings, pensions, or childcare support.

However, we also understand that you may not have financial compensation as your main goal. We will therefore fully investigate what happened, seek an apology and work to bring about changes to ensure that no other family has to suffer the loss of a loved one in similar circumstances.

How can RWK Goodman help you?

Our dedicated inquest team will fight on your behalf and guide you through the process, making it less daunting and ensuring that you get the best possible outcome.

Even if no inquest takes place, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation where negligence has caused or contributed to the death of your loved one. See our fatal claims page for more information.

If you would like to speak to our team, please contact us on

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