- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Jails still full of people awaiting trial


12 October 2012

David Shoebridge outside Grafton Jail
More than half of the young people in NSW jails and more than a quarter of the adults have not been found guilty and are being held on remand awaiting trial.  The fresh figures provided in NSW budget estimate hearings show the ongoing failure of the State's bail laws.

Greens NSW Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
  "The O'Farrell Government came to office promising to fix the bail laws and reduce the number of people spending months in jail awaiting trial, but so far the situation is getting worse not better.

"For young people a staggering 53 per cent of those in jail are on remand awaiting trial.

"Worse still an extraordinary 84 percent of the young people held on remand, when they finally come to trial, are either acquitted or get a non-custodial sentence.

"Many of these kids should not have spent a single night behind bars, let
alone months.

"Added to this, after 18 months of the Coalition government, the proportion
of Aboriginal young people in detention is growing.

"Aboriginal young people now make up 50 per cent of the juveniles in NSW
jails, when they represent just 3 per cent of that age group in the general

"The situation for adult prisoners is also disturbing with 2,534 adults in
jail awaiting trial.

"From a total prison population of 9,624 this means 26 per cent of all
adult prisoners are in jail without having been found guilty of the crime
for which they are charged.

"It is well and truly time the government produced its response to the NSW
Law Reform Commission's Bail report.

"Every day that it is delayed costs the State government thousands of
dollars and sees far too many people being inappropriately held in our

"At a minimum this Government must immediately commit to funding supported
accommodation for those young people who are refused bail because they do
not have a fixed address," Mr Shoebridge said.

Link to the full Budget Estimates  transcript

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