The Australian Law Reform Commission has embarked on an investigation into the over-representation of First Nations people in prisons.

The inquiry, commissioned by the Federal Government, will look at ways to reduce incarceration rates and has called for submissions to be made to the council from a broad cross-section of the community.

A discussion paper released yesterday includes proposals such as not jailing fine defaulters, developing prison programs and working with First Nations organisations.

First Nations people make up roughly 25 per cent of the prison population throughout Australia while only making up three per cent of the nation’s overall population.

Submissions to the inquiry close on September 4.