Indigenous people remain grossly over-represented in the NSW prison population, despite a downward trend in First Nations women behind bars.
New statistics released on Thursday show Indigenous people made up 25.7 per cent of NSW's imprisoned adults in March, in line with the two-year trend.
Aboriginal women in custody trended down but they continue to make up almost one third of women prisoners.
Indigenous people make up 2.2 per cent of NSW's general population.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report traced Indigenous people throughout the criminal justice system, showing they made up 23.1 per cent of all people brought before a court in the March quarter.
Police refused bail about 43.8 per cent of the time, while courts refused bail about 24.2 per cent of the time.
The number of Indigenous people found guilty in court and sentenced to prison remained stable, as did figures for those held on remand.
But the sentenced custody population dropped markedly in the June 2020 quarter as the coronavirus pandemic took hold across the country.
An Indigenous prisoner's most serious offence is most likely an act intended to cause injury (35 per cent) or a breach of a court or parole order (15 per cent)
That compares to an act intended to cause injury (22 per cent), drug offences (19 per cent) or sexual assault (19 per cent) most likely for non-Indigenous prisoners.
Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT chief executive Karly Warner said Aboriginal people continue to be targeted by the legal system with police routinely stopping, harassing and searching them for no reason.
"We are disproportionately pursued through courts for minor offences and then denied bail at greater rates than non-Indigenous people, even when all other factors are equal," she said.
"There can be no denying that systemic racism continues to be an issue within NSW police and courts."
Ms Warner said it was pleasing to see fewer Aboriginal children were in youth detention (down one-fifth to 85) but "we won't be satisfied until this drops to zero".
"Kids belong in schools and playgrounds, not behind bars," she said, calling for the government to raise the age of legal responsibility to at least 14.
"Once you place a child or teen in prison, they are much more likely to return as an adult."
Australian Associated Press