The issue of custodial remand in Australia remains acute. More than a fifth of Australian prisoners are unsentenced ('remandees') at any one time. Depending on the jurisdiction, remandee numbers have increased by between 50% and 270% since 1995. However, Australian States and Territories remand people in custody at significantly differing rates. This study reports qualitative and quantitative research that was undertaken over three years in Victoria and South Australia. The report opens with an overview of remand populations and rates. Figures reveal that South Australia's remand rate is almost three times that of Victoria, as well as a much higher percentage of remand prisoners as a proportion of all prisoners. The report records the qualitative research into policies and practices of key actors in the custodial remand processes, such as police, court staff and bail authorities. The report specifically addresses the Criminology Research Council nominated research questions: i) which factors are critical to remand processes, and how do these contribute to remand rate differences between Victoria and South Australia? ii) what is the effect of custodial remand on key outcomes; iii) what constitutes 'good practice' in remand decision-making; and iv) what are the policy implications of the study's findings.
Criminolgy Research Council, Australian Institute of Criminolgy 2005