There has been a 17 per cent reduction in short-term remand episodes at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre in the After Hours Bail Support Service's first six months of operation, ACT Minister for Community Services Joy Burch announced today.
Ms Burch said an internal evaluation of the new program showed it had helped divert 21 young persons from custody between November 2011 and April 2012, and the number of short-term remand episodes (1-4 days) had fallen from 82 to 71 when compared with the same period the previous year.
"The early indications are that the After Hours Bail Support Service is succeeding in its objective, which is to reduce the incidence of young people being remanded in custody for short periods until the necessary arrangements can be made for them to be granted bail," Ms Burch said.
Overall, the After Hours Bail Support Service was contacted on 270 matters relating to 84 different young people between November and April.
"The Service has had a broad range of functions, including assisting young people to comply with their bail conditions or Good Behaviour Order, confirming bail conditions, locating alternative accommodation options, providing or arranging transport and contacting parents and other natural supports.
"We know that reduced exposure to a custodial environment has a significant impact on reducing recidivism in young offenders and this service continues this Government's commitment to early intervention and prevention."
The After Hours Bail Support Service is just one of the improvements in response to the recommendations of the Human Rights Commissions report into the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. A year on from the report the ACT Government has already implemented half of the 200 recommendations.
- Statement ends -
Section: Joy Burch, MLA | Media Releases
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