In March, a magistrate told The Age in some cases it was more likely an accused person would attend court on their own recognisance than if they remained in custody. ‘I’m releasing people — not high-risk — but I’m releasing them on bail because I can’t guarantee they’ll appear.’
The problem had not been resolved by August. After being told that a number of prisoners could not apply for bail as they had not been brought to court, Magistrate Timothy Walsh warned Corrections officers, ‘They can be brought in or they’ll be released on bail’.
The government has announced $14 million in funding to improve video link facilities, which it hopes will reduce congestion in the prisoner transport system.
The Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities requires that people must not be subjected to arbitrary detention, and that deprivation of their liberty must only be in accordance with procedures established by law.
ROBERT CORR is a Legal Studies teacher at the Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School.