A spit hood is a mesh fabric device that conceals the head of a restrained person. They have been implicated in numerous deaths in custody here and overseas. Even when they don’t kill, spit hoods pose a grave threat to wellbeing and dignity.
Spit hoods are legal in every state and territory except South Australia. Internationally, spit hoods have been reported in violation of:
Spit hoods are used in policing, prisons and medical settings across Australia. Their use has also been reported in immigration detention centres.
In 2021 South Australia became the first, and so far the only, Australian jurisdiction to prohibit the use of spit hoods in law. Fella’s Bill followed five years of family and community campaigning after Wayne Fella Morrison (a Wiradjuri, Kokatha and Wirangu man) died in custody after being spit hooded, cuffed and placed face down in the prone position in the back of a transport van with eight officers inside.
Since then, spit hoods have been further implicated in serious injury and deaths in custody in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Australian Capitol Territory and Western Australia, and have been recorded in use against children as young as 12 years old.
The National Ban Spit hoods Coalition acknowledges the First Nations Peoples on whose Lands we live and work.
We acknowledge their Sovereignty, Country, Waters and their Elders and Ancestors.