Alternatives needed to address Aboriginal incarceration rates according to a leading law academic.

18th May 2017

A leading law academic who describes Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander incarceration rates as a catastrophe is calling for alternatives to imprisonment as a means of turning around their massive over representation in the criminal justice system.

Despite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people making up only 2-3% of Australia's total population they now account for more than a quarter of the country’s total prison population according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Anthony Hopkins, Senior Lecturer at the ANU college of Law is using National Law week, a time to promote public understanding of the law and the role it plays in society to highlight the over-representation of first Australians in the criminal justice system.

Mr Hopkins who began his career as a criminal defence lawyer in Alice Springs working for the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission told CAAMA Radio