Almost six years on from the death in custody of Ms Dhu, Western Australia is set to fall in line with other states in overhauling its unpaid fines regime.
WA's upper house will on Wednesday begin the final debate on a bill to overhaul the state's fine enforcement regime, which the government says will also address the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the justice system.
Campaigners believe the bill has cross-party support and are hopeful a vote could be passed as early as Thursday.
The changes were sparked by the case of Yamatji woman Ms Dhu, who died in custody in August 2014 after being locked up for $3622 in unpaid fines.
The 22-year-old, whose first name is not used for cultural reasons, died in hospital two days after being locked up at South Hedland Police Station.
A coroner subsequently ruled she had been treated inhumanely.
Under the new legislation, custody will become a last resort for fine defaulters and a warrant for imprisonment can only be issued by a magistrate under strict circumstances.
Social Reinvestment WA coordinator Sophie Stewart says WA spends almost $2.8 million a year on locking up people for unpaid fines.
"It makes almost no economic sense," she told AAP.
"We lock people at about $770 a day for a short-term prisoner and their fine only gets cut out at $250 a day ... people who haven't committed a crime worthy of a prison sentence."
Ms Stewart said the regime disproportionately impacted disadvantaged people and particularly Aboriginal women, highlighting the case of a mother-of-five who was jailed in 2017 for $3900 in unpaid dog registration fines.
Even during the coronavirus pandemic, 48 people in WA had been issued warrants of commitment ordering their arrest for unpaid fines.
"I also think we're less likely to see instances of people dying in custody, instances of terrible things happening to people - especially black people - in our prison system because they've been pulled up for stuff as small as a fine," she said.
The legislation will introduce garnishee orders, allowing for money to be taken from the bank accounts and salaries of fine defaulters while at the same time making sure such measures do no create undue hardship.
It will also more clearly spell out hardship provisions, which will include mental illness and disability, domestic violence, homelessness, and drug and alcohol problems.