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Aboriginal jail rate 'disturbingly' high

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 20 October 2003


A new study has found that the rate at which Aboriginal people are jailed in New South Wales is 16 times higher than for the rest of the population.

The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has for the first time looked at the rate at which Aboriginal people are coming into contact with the court system and being locked up.

Bureau director Don Weatherburn says some of the findings are disturbing.

"Perhaps the most shocking is that...40 per cent of the Aboriginal male population aged 20-24 has been charged with a criminal offence in 2001 and one in 10 Aboriginal males received a prison sentence in that year," he said.

Dr Weatherburn says there is no evidence of bias in the way Aboriginal people are treated by the system but factors such as substance abuse, child neglect and unemployment appear to be reasons for their involvement in crime.


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