Expanding the NSW Drug Court program to Dubbo has been recommended in another parliamentary inquiry.
It was one of a raft of recommendations made by the Select Committee on the High Level of First Nations People in Custody and Oversight and Review of Deaths in Custody, which was tabled in the NSW Legislative Council last week.
The inquiry was developed to report on the "unacceptably high" level of First Nations people in custody in NSW.
There were 39 recommendations made, the first of which was for the NSW government to commit to the "immediate and comprehensive implementation of all outstanding recommendations from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody".
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The inquiry has also called for long-term funding to be allocated to community-led justice reinvestment initiatives and for circle sentencing to be available in more local government areas.
The current crop of Dubbo councillors have been pushing for a range of criminal justice initiatives since they were elected in 2017. In November, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility was announced for Dubbo, however, council and the community are still pushing for a drug court.
In his address in the report, committee chair Adam Searle said he hoped the recommendations would provide a realistic roadmap for the NSW government to deliver better outcomes for First Nations people.
"While many inquiry participants are rightly concerned that this report will be just one more left on the shelf to gather dust, we believe that this report and its recommendations provide the opportunity to bring about important changes for First Nations peoples, particularly in light of the momentum currently taking place with Black Lives Matter movements here and around the world," he said.
"While many of the recommendations in this report go to dealing with the symptoms of overrepresentation of First Nations people in custody, it is clear that the multi-generational disadvantage that First Nations people have faced over time, in areas such as health, housing, employment and education, and the historical dispossession and systemic racism, which underscores each First Nation person's experience with the criminal justice system, must be addressed by government."
The Dubbo recommendation - "that the NSW government immediately expand the Drug Court to Dubbo and make plans for further expansion into other regional, rural and remote areas." - has been welcomed by acting mayor Stephen Lawrence.
Cr Lawrence said Dubbo needed intensive resources to address the over representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system.
"For too long our region has struggled with entrenched social disadvantage, unacceptably high crime rates and simply dreadful levels of incarceration of Aboriginal people. Council recognises that all these things are linked in a vicious circle that needs to be broken," Cr Lawrence said.
"This council has long been committed to intensive investment in drug and alcohol treatment services in order to address criminal offending and social disadvantage. The evidence is very clear, the Drug Court program can cut offending by up to 17 per cent.
"We need it rolled out to Dubbo as soon as possible to start reducing break and enters and other property crime particularly."
The acting mayor said Dubbo was fortunate to have a passionate advocate in Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders.
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