4: The operation of the Effective Bail Scheme

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This chapter examines data relating to the operation of the EBS and its component parts between its implementation and the end of June 2008. It explores take-up of the scheme and the caseload of the EBS in different court areas throughout this period. The second part of the chapter examines the demographic characteristics of defendants as well as their current offences and offending and bail histories. It also explores differences in these factors between defendants who were bailed to the EBS and those who were remanded in custody in order to begin to understand why some proposals for bail support failed. Data presented in this chapter were gleaned from bail information and bail support records.

Figure 4.1 provides details of the process which resulted in 658 defendants being bailed with EBS. Bail information officers initially identified 1,417 defendants who may have been eligible for the EBS because they were detained in police custody while awaiting their first court appearance or because they had been remanded in custody at an earlier hearing.

In over a third (n=523, 37%) of cases no proposal for bail support was submitted to the courts. Three-quarters (n=398, 76%) of this group were deemed to be either unsuitable, ineligible or both for the EBS. There is some overlap between the two categories. In terms of unsuitability, the most frequently cited reasons were that defendants had no support needs (n=22), there were concerns about manageability (n=15) or no suitable accommodation was available (n=12).

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