Associate Professor Caitlin Hughes

Matthew Flinders Fellow

College of Business, Government and Law

place Law & Commerce (322)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

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 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

Key responsibilities

Higher Degree Research Coordinator - College of Business, Government and Law

Deputy Chair - University Higher Degree Research Committee

Topic coordinator
CRIM3011 Current Issues in Criminal Justice
Supervisory interests
Alcohol and other drugs
Comparative law
Crime policy
Criminal justice
Criminal law
Organised crime
Public policy
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Evaluating the health, crime and system impacts of the South Australian Police Drug Diversion Initiative (1), Nowhere Noir: Investigating discourses of the abject produced by cross-cultural adaptations of Scandinavian crime drama (1), The evolution of transnational drug trafficking flows and the factors that affect them: A network perspective (1), Illicit drug production and drug trafficking and the drugs-terrorism nexus (1), A comparative analysis of police use of stop and search in Australia and the United Kingdom (1), The disruption and dismantling of OMCGs (1)
Associate supervisor: Re-thinking harm reduction strategies in Sydney’s night-time economy: A cross-national comparative analysis (1), The impacts of stigma on alcohol and other drug use and access to services in regional Victoria and South Australia (1)
Principal supervisor: Understanding how high-level drug traffickers respond and adapt to changes in supply (1), Promoting compliance, recovery and desistance: comparative case studies of pre-sentence diversion schemes for drug misusing arrestees in Australia and England (1), Investigating displacement effects as a result of the Sydney, NSW alcohol lockout legislation (1), Conflict theory and street-level drug law enforcement: The use of drug detection dogs in NSW 2008 to 2014 (1), What do young people living in New South Wales think of current and alternate approaches of regulating cannabis? (1), The nature and drivers of illicit drug trafficking and production in Myanmar and its future drug policy responses (1), An exploration of the roles, contextual circumstances and motivations of female drug traffickers in Australia (1)
Associate supervisor: The supply and diversion of pharmaceuticals (1), Investigating the utility of indexes for drug policy analysis (1), Women, drugs and anonymous online markets: A secondary analysis of the Global Drug Survey (1), The role of the executive in Australian Commonwealth drug policy following the 1988 Drug Convention (1), Legalising cannabis in Australia - a comparative policy analysis of attitudes to cannabis, stigma and help-seeking in the ACT and NSW (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Vivienne Moxham-Hall

Deans Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis - DEC 2019

Shann Hulme

Deans Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis - DEC 2019

Expert for media contact
Drug laws
Drug policy
Drug trafficking
Festival safety
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Media expertise
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  • Drug trafficking
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