NT under fire for 'locking up alcoholics'

The NT Government is being told hand back $18 million it is using to "lock up alcoholics" as part of its mandatory rehabilitation treatment scheme.

Under controversial new laws, a person picked up by police three times over three months for being drunk and disorderly can end up a newly built 100 bed "medi-hotel" at Royal Darwin Hospital.

The facility — funded with Federal Government money — was meant to provide accommodation for bush patients travelling hundreds of kilometres for treatment.