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Police and vulnerability in bail decisions


Hughes, D and Colvin, E and Bartkowiak-Theron, I, Police and vulnerability in bail decisions, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10, (3) ISSN 2202-8005 (2021) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.5204/ijcjsd.1905


Since bail legislation was enacted in the 1970s, Australia has experienced a continual increase in the number of prisoners on remand. Amendments to bail legislation and police discretion have been shown to contribute to this increase. Further, an accused’s vulnerability affects whether they are granted or denied bail, with vulnerable people being more likely to be denied bail. Vulnerability in the criminal justice system refers to factors such as race, age, sex and socioeconomic status. Many vulnerable people have multiple intersecting vulnerabilities, which further compounds their contact with the justice system. This study employed a qualitative content analysis of bail legislation for the Australian states of New South Wales (NSW), Tasmania, and Victoria, along with key correlating second reading speeches. The aim was to better understand the way in which bail decision-makers, such as police, consider vulnerability when making decisions about bail, in particular, if and how they are legislated to consider factors relating to vulnerability. The research found that only police in NSW and Victoria were required to consider an accused’s vulnerability explicitly under the law. Although legislation may cater for varying vulnerabilities, intersecting vulnerabilities are not considered.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:police, bail, law, vulnerability
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Police administration, procedures and practice
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Law enforcement
UTAS Author:Bartkowiak-Theron, I (Associate Professor Isabelle Bartkowiak-Theron)
ID Code:147539
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-11-08
Last Modified:2021-12-07
Downloads:12 View Download Statistics

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