Why was he left alone? Troubled indigenous teenager killed himself in jail while pleading for someone to help him
- WARNING: This story deals with suicide and self-harm
- Stanley Miller, 19 died in custody on July 13 at the Acacia Prison outside Perth
- His sister Jacinta said she phoned the prison warning them he was struggling
- She has condemned authorities for failing to act on the warning signs
- For confidential support call Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
An indigenous teenager’s cries for help were allegedly ignored before he killed himself in an Australian prison.
Stanley Miller, a 19-year-old Noongar man, died in custody on July 13 at the Acacia Prison, in Wooroloo, 55km east of Perth – a facility run by Serco on behalf of the WA Government.
He was due to be released in February 2021, after serving his first sentence in adult prison for a number of burglary offences.
His sister Jacinta Miller, 31 says she phoned the prison twice in the days before his death to warn them he was struggling to cope.
Stanley Miller, 19, (pictured) died in custody in Western Australia after committing suicide
Despite being placed into a crisis care unit for several days, Daily Mail Australia understands he was released back into the general prison population soon after.
He tried to take his own life on July 11, and attempts were made to resuscitate him before he was taken to hospital.
He died in hospital the following Monday.
Ms Miller said when she visited him he had visible marks on his body indicating he was hurting himself.
His sister Jacinta Miller, 31 (pictured) says she phoned the prison twice in the days before his death to warn them he was struggling to cope
‘The physical warning signs were there. When they brought him to the hospital, he had cuts on his arm. They were aware that he wasn’t coping because you could see it, the physical signs were there,’ she told SBS news.
She said the system failed him.
‘He was a human being, calling out for help. That’s the hardest thing for me as a big sister, to have to know that he was feeling alone in those moments and was able to go and take his own life.’
She has condemned authorities for sitting idly by despite alarming signs he was experiencing suicidal thoughts.
The 19-year-old died in custody on July 13 at the Acacia Prison, (pictured) in Wooroloo, 55km east of Perth
‘They assured me that he would be put in self-care and that he would be monitored at all times. To me, I’m assuming they’re watching him, just making sure he couldn’t harm himself.’
She told the Australian there was no reason he should have been left alone.
‘When they finally have the inquest in two years or something we are going to see CCTV of him walking into a storeroom and not coming out,’ she said.
‘How does that happen when they knew he was a suicide risk?’
Serco confirmed the death in custody to SBS news, but advised it could not comment on specifics due to an upcoming inquest into the death.
The facility is run by Serco on behalf of the Western Australian Government
The 19-year-old was sentenced to two and a half years jail and jailed on May 1 over a number of burglary offences.
In the best case scenario he could have walked free in February if he was granted parole.
His sister has remembered him as a budding artist and football player who was a loving uncle to his nieces and nephews.
July 11, the day of his suicide attempt, was the same day an agreement was finalised on the Closing the Gap national agreement to reduce indigenous incarceration rates.
For confidential support call Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636.