• Protesters angry over Aboriginal deaths in custody gather outside Parliament House in Perth (AAP)Source: AAP
First-time and low-level criminal offenders will have their prosecution dropped if they meet the terms of a four-month agreement under a West Australian trial program.
By
NITV

20 Jul 2015 - 12:16 PM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2015 - 1:55 PM

People who commit crime for the first time and that is classified low level will not be prosecuted if they fulfill a four-month agreement under a trial program in Western Australia.

The program aims to tackle Aboriginal over-representation in the justice system and will require the offender to complete activities and meet certain conditions, Western Australian Police Minister Liza Harvey said in a statement on Monday.

Sexual offences, graffiti vandalism, offences involving a weapon and adult burglary offences are excluded from the program.

Indigenous Australians make up 40 percent of the state's adult prison population

The imprisonment rate in Western Australia is the highest in the country at 15 percent of the total prison population, even though it only makes up 11 percent of the country's population.

The state has the highest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration rate in the country.

Indigenous people make up just 3 percent of Western Australia's population yet Indigenous Australians make up 40 percent of the state's adult prison population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), making them 18 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous citizens.

At the national level, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are 13 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous people, the ABS says.

-with Andrea Booth