Prisoner Deaths

Prisoner Deaths

As part of our legal obligations under the SPS Publication Scheme, SPS will publish information regarding all deaths in our custody in calendar years and will publish this  information for the preceding ten years, on a quarterly basis.  

Changes to how we report this information have caused some delays with publishing the latest quarterly information that ended on 5 September 2019.   The main changes relate to how SPS report the cause of death.  SPS will now include in the information it publishes, the ‘medical certificate of cause of death’(MCCD) rather than publish the cause of death as detailed in the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) determination. This information will be provided for all deaths in SPS custody from January 2019. 

You may wish to note that:

•    The term 'Event of Undetermined Intent' used in the tables is an outcome where the exact intent of the individual concerned cannot be ascertained.

•    SPS will  report deaths in custody in the news section of our website when we have received notification that the next of kin has been informed.

•    A Fatal Accident Inquiry is mandatory into the death of a person who dies in prison under the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc (Scotland) Act 2016. There is one potential exception to this and that is that the Lord            Advocate may decide an inquiry is not to be held if he/she is satisfied that the circumstances of the death have been sufficiently established in criminal proceedings. The decision to hold an FAI (and the timing of a Sheriff Court being petitioned to hold an FAI) is a matter for the Lord Advocate/Procurator Fiscal.  The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service are responsible for the hosting, administration and management of Inquiry. The Scottish   Prison Service’s role in the inquiry is as a participant only, but we assist the Procurator Fiscal throughout the investigative stage.

•   Information concerning details of any FAI preliminary hearings and inquiry dates can be found on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service web site at Copies of FAI determinations can be found on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service web site at


Prisoner Deaths 2013

Prisoner Deaths 2014

Prisoner Deaths 2015

Prisoner Deaths 2016

Prisoner Deaths 2017

Prisoner Deaths 2018

Prisoner Deaths 2019

Prisoner Deaths 2020

Prisoner Deaths 2021

Prisoner Deaths 2022

Prisoner Deaths 2023