The proportion of Aboriginal people in prisons across New South Wales has reached a record high, prompting an urgent call from key groups for governments to end the “overpolicing” of Indigenous communities.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (Bocsar) figures revealed Aboriginal people accounted for a record 29.7% of the state’s adult prison population in February, dipping slightly to 29.5% in March.
More than half of imprisoned children in NSW are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, with three-quarters of those young people on remand.
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s chief executive, Jonathon Hunyor, said the government and justice systems needed to change the way they were operating, citing the worsening “genuine crisis” for Indigenous people in NSW.
“Arrest and detention should be a last resort, but the figures show police are not taking that seriously,” he said.