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‘It’s a Gendered Issue, 100 Per Cent’: How Tough Bail Laws Entrench Gender and Racial Inequality and Social Disadvantage

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journal contribution
posted on 09.01.2022, 23:16 by Emma RussellEmma Russell, Bree Carlton, Danielle Tyson
Women’s rates of remand, or pre-trial detention, have grown dramatically in Australia and the rates at which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are incarcerated without conviction are particularly high. However, there is little research examining bail and remand practices and their relationship to social inequalities. This article presents findings from research on the drivers behind women’s increasing rates of custodial remand in Victoria—a jurisdiction that has significantly restricted access to bail through legislative reforms. Drawing on data derived from interviews with criminal defence and duty lawyers, we outline how bail and remand practices systematically disadvantage women experiencing housing insecurity and domestic and family violence (DFV), increasing their risk of becoming trapped in longer-term cycles of incarceration. Our analysis reinforces the need to move away from ‘tough on crime’ approaches to bail. It also highlights unintended consequences of DFV reforms, including further marginalising and punishing criminalised women who are victim-survivors.

History

Publication Date

01/11/2021

Journal

International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy

Volume

10

Issue

3

Pagination

15p.

Publisher

Queensland University of Technology

ISSN

2202-8005

Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2021 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. Article is free to use with proper attribution.