TA Northern Territory government politician says some Aboriginal people support imprisonment because jail gets the younger generations sober, fed and keeps them safe.
Overnight, the Legislative Assembly passed amendments to the NT Sentencing Act, allowing for mandatory sentencing of violent offenders.
Labor opposed the Bill and raised concerns that it would continue to see Indigenous people locked up at an alarming rate.
The member for Stuart, Bess Price, told Parliament that Labor did nothing to address the matter when it was in power, and argued that incarceration had some benefits.
"While they are being imprisoned, they don't get to drink, they don't get in to trouble, they are fed three times a day," she said.
"They are in there with their family members.
"They sleep in their language groups and they all come out of prison much healthier."
Labor's member for Nhulunbuy, Lynne Walker, told Parliament she was saddened by Ms Price's statement and said it painted a disturbing scenario.
"What a very sad indictment it is, of where our system is, when the Member for Stuart says that 'our families want our young people locked up, because prisons; they're safe places, it's where people can dry our for three months, it's a safe environment and where, sadly, a lot of family members are in there, so they're not alone'," she said.