6: Interviewees’ perspectives on the Effective Bail Scheme

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This chapter focuses on interviewees’ views about the EBS. It draws on interviews with stakeholders, workers and defendants which took place in the early stages of the pilot. The interviews reflect the position at a time when the EBS was still being implemented and after which changes were made in order to improve its operation. Nevertheless, interviewees’ views were generally positive, supporting the establishment of the EBS.

Most interviewees viewed the implementation of the scheme as a success at the time they were interviewed. The views of those closely involved in the scheme were summed up by one interviewee who commented: “It is set up, it is running and it has got the sort of caseload that we hoped … and it has done so without any negative comments.” At this stage, success was viewed in terms of implementing and operating the scheme and reaching target numbers. Interviewees viewed the considerable time and effort put into the development of the scheme prior to implementation as crucial to its success along with the phased introduction of the scheme across the courts. Interviewees also noted that accommodation had been sourced and that more defendants than planned had been accommodated with low levels of damage to property and very few major incidents. Indeed, most interviewees reported that compliance with the scheme was higher than they had expected. The fact that most interviewees had received no complaints or negative feedback about the scheme was also viewed as an indicator of success. As one interviewee noted, “silence is a good sign”.

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