This report outlines findings on the use and impact of supervised bail in Scotland from a research project which included analysis of operational data, economic analysis, a workshop with bail workers, surveys of the judiciary and Procurators Fiscal, and interviews with people who have been on supervised bail.
The research found that, when used in ‘borderline’ remand cases, supervised bail can support accused to comply with bail conditions, and can assist them in the process of desistance, as well as having positive impact in terms of family relationships, mental health and employability. Successful completion of supervised bail was also found to encourage members of the judiciary to impose a community sentence rather than a prison sentence.
The number of bail supervision orders in Scotland has declined in recent years. The research suggests that two things could increase use of supervised bail: increased awareness of, and buy-in to, supervised bail amongst police, defence agent, PFs and the judiciary; and the embedding of good processes for suitability screening of individuals for supervised bail in courts across the country.