Bail Information Schemes

DOI10.1177/026455058903600211
Publication Date01 June 1989
Date01 June 1989
SubjectArticles
74
Bail
Information
Schemes
Christine
Fiddes,
Senior
Probation
Officer
responsible
for
National
Training
for
Bail
Schemes,
argues
that
the
Service
should
embrace
wholeheartedly
the
opportunity
to
keep
people
out
of
prison
by
addressing
their
first
custodial
remand.
APO
Confer-
ence’s
vote
last
year
on
Bail
Information
Schemes
was
to
me
both
disap-
pointing
and
puzzling.
Dis-
appointing
because
I
have
been
involved
in
this
work
for
over
two
years
and I
know
it
to
be
a
successful
way
of
diverting
people
from
custodial
I
t
r:~
~
remands.
Puz-
zling,
because
the
conference
had
earlier
deplored
’the
continuing
prac-
tice
of
holding
hundreds
of
remand
prisoners
in
Police
cells’
and
expressed
grave
concern
that
’the
greater
increase
in
the
prison
population
during
the
last
ten
years
has
been
the
rexnand
popula-
tior~’:
yet
three
days
later
turned
down
a
real
opportunity
to
do
something
about
it.
In
1987,
eight
pilot
bail
schemes,
some
operating
for
only
part
of
the
year,
made
contributions
which
led
to
the
release
of
approximately
400
peo-
ple
on
bail.
This
was
the
work
of
a
handful
of
probation
officers,
working
within
the
existing
judicial
system,
and
without
generating
the
use
of
new
or
additional
bail
conditions -
a
funda-
mental
principle
of
Bail
Scheme
work.
The
potential
savings
in
human
cost
alone
is
surely
enough
to
spur
support
and
expansion
of
bail
schemes
to
other
courts
and
other
areas.
There
is
cer-
tainly
no
shortage
of
‘customers’
at
a
time
when
over
20%
of
the
prison
pop-
ulation
are
remand
prisoners
and
defendants
produced
from
custody
for
sentence
are
far
more
likely
to
receive
custodial
sentence
than
those
who
answer
bail.
’ ’ -r~;ll~
The
initiative
came
from
ACOP
in
1986,
wanting
to
address
the
problem

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