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Bail Assistance Line

Program description

The focus of the Juvenile Justice Bail Assistance Line is to provide an after-hours serv​ice for police who are considering granting conditional bail to a young person who is in their custody but who cannot be released as they cannot meet their bail conditions.

The BAL can offer support in locating a parent/guardian and/or locating and transporting the young person from the police station to suitable accommodation. The BAL aims to help young people meet the conditions of their bail and enable them to await their court date within the community, rather than in a detention centre.

To achieve this, services provided from the BAL include:

  • An after-hours service (4pm to 3am, 365 days a year) where police considering granting conditional bail to a young person can telephone a 1300 number, speak with a Bail Co-ordinator and receive the support they require
  • The Bail Co-ordinator can provide a range of services such as accessing relevant information from the Juvenile Justice database, arranging transport and co-ordinating a safe place for the young person to stay until their court date
  • The BAL has entered into funding agreements with several non-government organisations to provide a range of services for young people such as case management, accommodation, transport and/or referrals to drug and alcohol, mental health and vocational services

Objectives

  • To provide an after-hours service to the NSWPF when they are considering granting conditional bail to a young person
  • To minimise the entrenchment of young people in the juvenile justice system
  • To reduce the number of young people on remand in detention centres who can be safely supervised in the community to await their court date
  • To reduce the number of young people on remand in detention centres that are only there due to non-criminal issues such as lack of appropriate accommodation and/or absence of a parent/guardian
  • To provide services that are appropriate and sensitive to a young person's age, gender, cultural background and disability
  • To retain young people in the community and minimise disruption to relationships, employment or education

Organisation

The BAL operates within the Sydney CBD in the Juvenile Justice Central Office. The BAL offers an after-hours telephone service to the NSWPF. They can contact a 1300 number between 4pm and 3am, 365 days a year and speak directly with a Juvenile Justice Bail Co-ordinator.

During normal business hours the BAL is staffed by the BAL Manager and an Operations Assistant.

Services

Services provided by the BAL include:

  • Provision of an after-hours telephone service for police who are considering granting conditional bail to a young person
  • Assessment of young people in police custody who require support
  • Access to a range of services including transport, accommodation and case support (including support which is culturally appropriate for Indigenous young people)