About us What we do About INQUEST "…an organisation that shines a light into the state’s darkest corners, often on behalf of society’s most vulnerable people." - 'In praise of...INQUEST' editorial in The Guardian INQUEST is the only charity providing expertise on state related deaths and their investigation to bereaved people, lawyers, advice and support agencies, the media and parliamentarians. Our specialist casework includes death in police and prison custody, immigration detention, mental health settings and deaths involving multi-agency failings or where wider issues of state and corporate accountability are in question, such as the deaths and wider issues around Hillsborough and Grenfell Tower. Our policy, parliamentary, campaigning and media work is grounded in the day to day experience of working with bereaved people. This integrated approach is crucial to families, not only in making sure their voices are heard and holding the state to account for individual deaths, but also in changing policy and practice to prevent future deaths.SPECIALIST CASEWORK: We work directly with bereaved people, empowering them through the post-death processes of investigation and inquest to establish the truth about a death in the care of the state. CAMPAIGNING: We use the direct evidence from our casework, alongside statistics and rigorous research, to exert pressure on public bodies and government and drive systemic change. SHARING KNOWLEDGE: We are the only organisation with a comprehensive overview of deaths in custody and detention. We use our expertise and statistics to track patterns and trends and situate deaths in their broader social and political context.SOCIAL JUSTICE: We work to improve the investigation and inquest process for all. We campaign for non means-tested public funding for families in state-related inquests and stronger post-death investigations. We lobby to ensure that government, state and corporate bodies are held to account and that action is taken in response to systemic failings. We are entirely independent of government. Founded in 1981, we campaign alongside families and others to access the truth, hold those responsible to account and effect meaningful change to prevent future deaths. Our specialist focus Our casework has identified concerning patterns across deaths in state care. We conduct in-depth work on key issues, including: The treatment and deaths of children and young people in all custody and detention settings. The treatment and deaths of women in prison and the need for investment in specialist women-centred alternatives to custody The deaths of people from black and minority ethnic communities and the disproportionate number following the use of force The use of force and restraint, including dangerous policing practices The rise in the deaths of people with mental ill health in custody and detention The need for an independent investigation framework in response to deaths in health care settings, particularly those in mental health detention and patients with learning disabilities The efficacy of investigation bodies including the IPCC and PPO A national ‘learning’ body to oversee the implementation of changes recommended by post death investigation and inquests in response to individual deaths The right of bereaved people to automatic non means tested funding for representation at state related inquests to end the disparity between bereaved individuals and public bodies The strengthening of legislation to ensure that no provider is free from public scrutiny Our values We work to empower bereaved people, who are often excluded from exercising their legal rights, and to ensure that their collective experience is heard by policymakers, parliamentarians and the wider public. We are committed to challenging racism and discrimination in all areas of our work and have raised concerns about the systemic discrimination, inequality and poverty behind many deaths in custody and state care. Our way of working is collaborative and we are non-judgemental in relation to the background or actions of an individual who has died.