Aboriginal prisoner dies in Victoria

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An Aboriginal prisoner in central Victoria has become the second Indigenous person to die in custody in the state in a matter of weeks.

Clinton Austin, a 38-year-old Gunditjmara and Wiradjuri man, died at Loddon Prison near Castlemaine in Victoria on Sunday.

Mr Austin's family said they were devastated by his death.

"We can't believe Clinton is dead. We don't know how we will face the next days," his family said in a statement.

"Clinton was meant to be getting out of prison. He had his heart set on being an Aboriginal art teacher. His heart was for his son and for his art."

In a statement, a spokesperson for Corrections Victoria confirmed the man died on Sunday.

A Department of Justice and Community Safety spokeswoman said the death had been referred to the coroner to formally determine the cause of death.

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) said it was helping Mr Austin's family in the coronial process.

"We hope that the Coroner's Court of Victoria will thoroughly investigate Clinton's death and will be respectful towards and prioritise the voices of Clinton's family throughout the coronial investigation process," chief executive Nerita Waight said in a statement.

"VALS has serious concerns about the quality of healthcare provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons in Victoria.

"We call on the state government to urgently address this issue and provide healthcare in prison that is equivalent to that in the community and that is culturally safe."

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was aware of the prisoner's death.

"The death of any person in custody is of great concern to all of us," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr Austin is the second Indigenous person to die in custody in Victoria since a 32-year-old Aboriginal man died at Port Phillip Prison in the state's west last month.

Corrections Victoria announced the man's death on August 12.

"We recognise that all deaths in custody have impacts on family members, friends, victims and the broader Aboriginal community, and we're working to ensure they are provided with the support they need," the agency said at the time.

Mr Austin's family said he was let down by the police and justice system.

"We want his death to be investigated so that people stop dying in prisons. We don't want other families to have to go through what we are now going through," they said.