The Guardian (Australia) has published a report that will sound very familiar to people of colour in the US and Europe..

Court data shows that 92.85% of Indigenous Australians taken to court for the cannabis possession charge were either found guilty by a judge or magistrate or pleaded guilty.

 

Exclusive: data shows hugely disproportionate treatment, which experts say helps trap young Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system

Police in New South Wales pursue more than 80% of Indigenous people found with small amounts of cannabis through the courts while letting others off with warnings, forcing young Aboriginal people into a criminal justice system that legal experts say “they will potentially never get out of”.

The Guardian can reveal that between 2013 and 2017 the police disproportionately used the justice system to prosecute Indigenous people, despite the existence of a specific cautioning scheme introduced to keep minor drug offences out of the courts.

During the five year period, 82.55% of all Indigenous people found with a non-indictable quantity of cannabis were pursued through the courts, compared with only 52.29% for the non-Indigenous population, the data compiled by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows.

The data shows police were four times more likely to issue cautions to non-Indigenous people. In the five years to 2017, only 11.41% of Indigenous Australians caught by police with small amounts of cannabis were issued cautions, compared with 40.03% of the non-Indigenous population.

Karly Warner, the chief executive of the Aboriginal Legal Service, said the data was an illustration of how Indigenous people were treated differently “at every stage” of the justice system. She cited a recent case in which a young Indigenous boy had been caught with a small amount of cannabis and, despite having no prior convictions, had been charged by police.

 

Karly Warner, the chief executive of the Aboriginal Legal Service

“As annoyed and as angry as I am about that, I am also not surprised,” she said.

 

“As this data shows these are not one-offs. This is a complete failure to address systematic racism, perpetrated by individuals, and it is forcing, absolutely forcing, Aboriginal kids, young people and adults into contact with a criminal justice system that they will potentially never get out of again.”

Court data shows that 92.85% of Indigenous Australians taken to court for the cannabis possession charge were either found guilty by a judge or magistrate or pleaded guilty.

While non-Indigenous people had a similar conviction rate, evidence suggests Indigenous people receive harsher sentences. A global report prepared for Penal Reform International used Bocsar data from 2013 to 2017 to find Indigenous women were more likely to receive harsher prison sentences for drug possession offences, “including triple the rate of prison sentences”.

 

It’s not just cannabis..

It’s everything as anybody with half a brain knows ..

Read the rest of this Guardian article at

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jun/10/nsw-police-pursue-80-of-indigenous-people-caught-with-cannabis-through-courts