Law and Order – Pre-Trial Custody
The charging of a care giver (of a minor or an adult) that has been charged with an offence ought not to be held in custody before trial, unless it is held that they are a direct threat to the life or limb of other persons or themselves. The use of non-custodial methods ought to be considered including monitored and/or home detention. While there maybe considerable evidence against a person of interest charged in a matter that may result in a custodial sentence; the disruption of the care responsibilities must be considered during bail considerations before imposing that a person be held in confined custody. It is unfortunate that indigenous care givers often face pre-trial detention more often, for more minor matters, than non-indigenous persons in Australia and this must stop urgently.
- Where ever possible an accused person ought not to be held in custody to prevent the care responsibilities, that they ordinarily have, to be carried out.
- The persons in the care of an accused person must not unnecessarily be disadvantaged by the removal of their carer before the matter is dealt with before the courts.
- The potential flight risks need to be managed where possible via home detention including the use of tracing bracelets and reporting procedures.
- The detaining of a care giver charged of an offence before the matter is heard before the courts must be the last resort and where there is reasonable risk of harm to other persons.
- If the care giver is considered to be sufficiently dangerous to other persons or themselves and detention pre-trial is strongly recommended then alternative care arrangements must be carefully considered so that those in care are not disadvantaged by the detention of the care giver.