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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136240 Find in a Library
Title: Bail Information Schemes in English Magistrates' Courts: A Review of the Data
Author(s): D Godson; C Mitchell
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 104
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The role of the probation staff in the bail decision in England was studied using data from seven magistrates courts in Hampshire, Greater Manchester, Northumbria, and Staffordshire.
Abstract: The analysis used data from 5,359 cases and focused on the provision of independent and verified information on a defendant's personal and social background to assist the bail decisionmaking process. A total of 58.1 percent of those appearing before the courts were young adults aged 17-24, and 93 percent were male. The most common alleged offenses were burglary (23 percent), theft (23 percent), and violence (20 percent). Sixty-five percent were either currently or formerly known to the probation service, and 47 percent were alleged to be in breach of existing bail conditions. Findings suggested that in providing independently verified information to the prosecutors, probation staff are more likely to reject police recommendations for detention in favor of requests for bail. In addition, where information is provided, the defense is more likely to seek bail and is marginally more likely to be successful. The results also suggested the need for improved levels of verification and revisions in the way that information is collected. Tables; figures; appended methodological information, figures, and tables; and 15 references
Main Term(s): Bail reform
Index Term(s): Background investigations; Bail hearing; England; Foreign courts
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