The Custody Notification Service is a 24 hour telephone hotline service provided by ALRM. It is available every day of the year, including public holidays.
Police must notify ALRM that they have an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person in custody.
The CNS aims to provide a holistic wellbeing check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people held in police custody, with or without charge, and by so doing reduce preventable deaths in custody and related harm.
The Summary Offences (Custody Notification Service) Variation Regulations 2020 requires SA Police to notify ALRM of the detention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Why there is a need for a Custody Notification Service
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) found that the principal and immediate explanation for the deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody was the ‘disproportionate rate at which Aboriginal people are detained, arrested and imprisoned in Australia’.
The work of the Commission has established that Aboriginal people in custody do not die at a greater rate than non-Aboriginal people in custody.
However, what is overwhelmingly different is the rate at which Aboriginal people come into custody, compared with the rate of the general community….
Too many Aboriginal people are in custody too often.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to be grossly over represented in the justice system.
 RCIADIC (1991) National Report, Volume 1
 RCIADIC (1991) (1.3.1), (1.3.3)