The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of location on access to justice for vulnerable defendants seeking bail.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with legal practitioners from rural, suburban and urban areas as part of a larger study into bail support services in Victoria, Australia.
Interview participants identified a dearth of bail support resources in rural, regional and remote (RRR) areas compared to their urban counterparts. This dearth impacted negatively on some defendants’ outcomes in the justice system, particularly for young people and those experiencing homelessness.
This study helps in improving policy through greater understanding of issues with RRR service provision; adds to knowledge for service providers on access to justice; highlights specific areas of concern for vulnerable populations; and provides a more nuanced understanding of location-based issues.
This research found that resourcing issues cannot be understood simply through an RRR/urban binary and that more complex factors impacting access to justice and access to services for vulnerable people should be incorporated into future analysis and policy development. This more nuanced understanding is useful across national and international contexts when developing policies to improve bail support service provision.
This research was partially funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award. The author would like to thank the interview participants for their time and expertise. The author would also like to thank colleagues who provided feedback on drafts of this paper.
Colvin, E. (2019), "Postcode (in)justice: location and bail support services", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-01-2019-0002Download as .RIS
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