custody notification service
(Image: AAP/Jeremy Ng)

Today marks the 30-year anniversary of the landmark royal commission report into Aboriginal deaths in custody -- and 30 years of failure to end the crisis.

Since the commission, more than 474 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have died while in police care, including four in March and one so far in April. Their deaths now equal more than half of Australia's COVID-19 death toll, which sits at 910.

A national shame

Australia's prison system is dire. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are massively over-represented in prison populations, making up 27% of the national prison population despite being only about 3.3% of the general population.