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Experiences of Supervised Bail

Experiences of Supervised Bail

Thursday, March 29, 2012

ISBN: 9781780457369

This report outlines in details the findings of interviews with people who had been on supervised bail. These interviews explored the bailees experiences of supervised bail and the perceived impact of supervised bail on bailee's lives and behaviour. These interviews formed one strand of a wider research project on supervised bail, and a report on the full findings of this project is published alongside this report

Executive Summary

This report outlines the findings of interviews with 10 people who have been on supervised bail. These interviewees were recruited through their bail workers, so are likely to have had more positive expereinces than others who did not participate in the research.

For the bailees interviewed, four things emerged as leading to a positive impact of supervised bail. First, being out in the community rather than in prison was greatly appreciated, and motivated some to comply with supervised bail. Second, having a good relationship with their supervisor – seeing them as someone who was like ‘a normal person’, someone they could talk to and ‘have a laugh’ with. Third, flexibility of timing and frequency of meetings was useful to some bailees, as was flexibility around types of support provided depending on bailee needs. Fourth, positive feedback in the form of praise and rewards during supervised bail, and in bail worker reports and from the judiciary when the case came to court.

All interviewees except one talked about a positive change in their behaviour over time, and some attributed this change to supervised bail.

Overall, the impact of supervised bail on the lives and behaviour of bailees varied across the sample, from being inconvenient and embarrassing, to having a profoundly positive effect on behaviour and life ambitions, and almost all bailees reporting positive effects on their lives and behaviour. This varied according to the relevance of the four factors outlined above, as well as depending on the attitude and circumstances of the bailee.