Bailing and Community Supervision
When a perpetrator of domestic and family violence is granted bail, and this decision is not shared with a victim-survivor, the implications are extensive. Our frontline members disclosed increasing concerns regarding the bailing and supervision of domestic abuse offenders stating insufficient information sharing and poor regulation attribute a reduction in victim-survivors personal safety. The Bail Act 2013 (NSW) intends to regulate decision making regarding the bailing of an individual who has committed an offence.
According to the Victims Rights Act 1996 (NSW) a victim of a crime should be informed about any special bail conditions that are imposed in an effort to protect those impacted by the crime. Despite this, Women’s Legal Service NSW found whilst many will understand the perpetrator has been released, conditions of this bail are not clearly comprehended. Furthermore, many victim-survivors of domestic and family violence are not provided with a copy of bail conditions therefore, reporting breaches to this framework is difficult. Whilst officers are required to report bail conditions to a victim following a bail application, such reporting often does not occur due to a lack of contact information or resources.
If a victim-survivor of domestic and family violence is confronted by a perpetrator they previously believed was in jail compromises to the individual’s personal safety, mental health and trust in the criminal justice system occur. Moreover, this process can be trauma inducing. It is essential that bailing and community supervision legislations are carefully examined to ensure transparency, safety and knowledge sharing are the forefront concern.