New data suggests the over-representation of Indigenous Western Australians in jail could be exacerbated by that state's policies of locking up people over unpaid fines.  
By
Widyan Al Ubudy

Source:
World News Australia
29 Oct 2014 - 8:52 PM  UPDATED 30 Oct 2014 - 1:11 PM

Indigenous Australians make up more than quarter of Australia's prisoner population.

And new data from the West Australian Department of Corrective Services suggest that that gross over-representation could be exacerbated by policies in WA locking up people over unpaid fines.

The department's figures show that between 2008 and 2014 numbers soared from 194 incarcerated fine-defaulters to over 1000.

In the same period, the number of Aboriginal people held for unpaid fines jumped from 101 to 590.

Gerry Georgatos is a senior researcher in custodial systems and a prison reform advocate.

He told Widyan Al Ubudy the figures are a reminder of government failures to address Indigenous prison rates.