Caitlin Hughes is an Associate Professor in criminology and drug policy and Matthew Flinders Fellow at the Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University. Caitlin has spent 18 years researching drug and alcohol policy, including 12.5 years at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, working as part of the Drug Policy Modelling Program - one of the leading drug policy research centres in the world. Having joined Flinders University in July 2019 her research seeks to advance Australian and international drug policy by improving the evidence-base into the effects of different legislative and law enforcement approaches to drug use and supply and working directly with policy makers. Her research focuses on 1) drug laws and drug law reform (including depenalisation, decriminalisation, legalisation), 2) criminal justice policies (including policing and alternatives to arrest) and 3) drug markets, outlining what laws and policies are deployed, how they operate in practice, the impacts of this investment and identifying avenues for more effective responses that can reduce drug-related health, social and criminal justice harms.
Caitlin is also Visiting Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW and Vice-President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy and is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Drug Policy and the Journal of Illicit Economies and Development.
Doctor of Philosophy (Criminology) - 2007 - University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours), Bachelor of Science - 2001 - University of Melbourne
Higher Degree Research Coordinator - College of Business, Government and Law
Deputy Chair - University Higher Degree Research Committee
Deputy Director - Centre for Crime Policy and Research
Caitlin Hughes engages extensively with policy makers, law enforcement and health officials from across and outside of Australia, including the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Australian Federal Police, Australian Customs and Border Control, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, NSW Police, Victoria Police, ACT Police, ACT Health Directorate, the Irish Department of Justice and Equality and Department of Health, the British Colombia Police, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. She has been a member of the Australian Civil Society for United Nations Drug Policy since 2019 and attended the 62nd, 63rd and 64th United Nations Commission on Narcotics Drug Meetings as part of the Australian civil society delegation (2019, 2020 and 2021). Her work has contributed to many policy and practice reforms, including the expansion of drug diversion programs for use/ possess offenders and the reform of drug trafficking thresholds law “to ensure laws target traffickers not users”.
Caitlin is Vice-President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy. She is also a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (since 2006), the European Society of Criminology (since 2014) and the American Society of Criminology (since 2020).
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