Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bail Laws Create Problems

The Law Society of New South Wales says tough bail laws introduced last year need to be reconsidered because they are causing overcrowding in the state's juvenile detention centres.

The laws restrict the number of times people can apply for bail for serious offences and place a presumption against bail on certain crimes.

Since the legislation was introduced, about half of all juvenile prisoners are being kept in jail on remand - meaning they have been denied bail, but not yet convicted in court.

The NSW Law Society's president, Hugh Macken, has told the ABC's Background Briefing it shows the bail laws are counterproductive.

"We would like to have the matter revisited," he said.

"Clearly the statistics might show the Government that perhaps it hasn't worked quite as they intended to work, and they can revisit this issue without necessarily go back to an earlier system."

You can hear more on that story on Radio National's Background Briefing on Sunday at 9:00am (AEST).

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