Link to reports summary:-
the four years since 2015, the number of Aboriginal young people in custody in
NSW fell by 25%. A new report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime
Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) shows that this reduction is primarily due to a drop
in offending by Aboriginal young people and a reduction in the number and
proportion of Aboriginal young people receiving a custodial sentence.
2015 and 2019, the average number of Aboriginal young people in custody
declined from 161 per day in 2015 to 121 in 2019. Falls in the number of Aboriginal
young people in remand and in sentenced custody both contributed to the decline
(down 21% and 29% respectively).
key factors contributed to the downward trend. The
first was a reduction in the number of Aboriginal young people charged by
police and appearing in court. Between 2015 and 2019, the number of Aboriginal
young people proceeded against to court by police declined from 3,685 in 2015 to
3,324 in 2019. Large reductions were seen in break and enter, property damage
and traffic offences.
The second factor was a decline in Aboriginal
young people sentenced to a custodial order (down from 404 in 2015 to 221 in
2019). This was due in part to the reduced volume of Aboriginal young people in
court (down from 2,896 convictions in 2015 to 2,198 in 2019). In addition, however,
the proportion of convicted Aboriginal young people receiving a
custodial sentence fell from 14% to 10%.
Today BOCSAR also released new statistics
showing the number of adults and young people in custody up to March 2021. These
figures confirm that adult and youth custodial populations remain low following
pandemic-related changes occurring from March 2020.
on the research findings, Executive Director of BOCSAR, Jackie Fitzgerald welcomed
the reduction in Aboriginal children in detention noting that positive trends
for Aboriginal people are all too rare in criminal justice. “The result allows for cautious optimism that
Aboriginal over-representation in custody can be shifted. Unfortunately, despite improvements, we still
have a long way to go. Aboriginal young people currently make up 40% of young
people in detention, so the issue remains significant.”