Bail Support Services
Bail Support Services (BSS) supports people to apply for bail. You may see Bail Support Officers (BSOs) in courts, prisons, and the community. Once people are on bail, BSOs can help them access the programmes, support and services they need. BSS can be accessed by individuals, their counsel or their whānau.
The aim of Bail Support Services is to:
- Help reduce the amount of time people spend remanded in custody.
- Connect people with programmes and services that will help them stay free of crime while on bail.
- Encourage people to take positive steps forward earlier in the criminal justice process.
How our Bail Support Officers can help
Before bail is granted, Bail Support Officers can:
- Arrange an interview with the individual, with permission from their legal representative.
- Check if they have a safe address to be bailed to.
- Work with individuals, their whānau, and legal counsel to make strong bail proposals that address unmet needs.
- Complete a Bail Suitability Report for the judge to consider. This happens after EM (electronically monitored) Bail applications are processed by the courts.
When someone is on bail, Bail Support Officers can:
- Discuss bail conditions with the individual and their whānau and answer any questions that come up.
- Help people find community support such as addiction services, counselling, or driving courses.
- Provide people with ongoing support to help ensure their time on bail is productive.
- Help people build or maintain strong connections with their whānau.
- Write a Bail Support Services Report before sentencing. This will let the Judge know about the achievements the individual has made while on bail.
BSS is supported by Iwi, NZ Police, Courts, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Ministry of Justice. BSS is committed to upholding the values in the Department of Corrections strategy Hōkai Rangi. We aim to provide humanising and healing services for individuals and their whānau.
Accessing Bail Support Services
BSS is available in Northland, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Gisborne. This service will be available across the country by 2024.
The service is accessible for defendants from before their first appearance in Court. BSOs in the courts can gather information for bail applications. This helps Judges make timely and informed decisions on granting bail.
BSOs work with newly remanded people in prison, and their counsel, to complete pre-checks. This could include checking the bail address and speaking to its occupants. They gather this information to ensure the bail or EM Bail proposal is as strong as possible.
In the community
If bail is granted, BSOs offer defendants community support. This could be offered while they are in court or through their lawyer. If Electronically Monitored Bail is granted, BSOs will provide an induction. This will help ensure people understand their bail conditions and boundary. At the induction, Bail Support Officers will help individuals and their whānau to create a plan. This plan could include connecting with programmes or services in the community. If the case proceeds to sentencing, BSOs will complete a report for the Court. This report will include positive steps the defendant took during their time on bail. The judge will then consider this at sentencing.
Get in touch
If you or someone you know wants to access Bail Support Services, or if you have any questions related to the service, please contact one of our teams below. All media inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaitaia District Court, Kaikohe District Court,
09 408 6020
Waitakere District Court and Northshore District Court
Manukau District Court, Papakura District Court and Pukekohe District Court
Auckland District Court
Gisborne District Court
Wellington District Court, Hutt Valley District Court and Porirua District Court
Christchurch District Court
Otago District Court
Invercargill District Court