Bail Support Services
Bail Support Services (BSS) is an opt-in service that provides individuals with support and opportunities for positive change as they progress through the criminal justice system. The service can be accessed by defendants or their whānau in courts, prisons, and the community to support the application and maintenance of bail.
The service supports defendants (and their whānau) to understand their bail conditions, address their unmet social needs, and build/maintain strong connections with their whānau. In this way, the service helps defendants to stay free of crime while on bail and make positive change earlier in the criminal justice process.
How does Bail Support Services work?
Bail Support Services provides judges with relevant information to support them in making timely and informed decisions on bail applications. Bail Support Officers (BSOs) also work with defendants, their whānau, and their legal counsel to make robust and sustainable bail proposals that address any unmet social needs.
Once EM Bail applications are processed by the courts, BSOs complete an EM Bail Suitability Report for the judge’s consideration.
If bail or EM bail is granted to the defendant, Bail Support Officers continue to provide support in the community to those who want it, to help ensure the defendant’s time on bail is both productive and sustainable. BSOs can also help connect defendants with services to meet their social needs. Depending on the individual’s goals, this may include mental health or addiction services, access to employment, or driving courses. At the same time, BSOs help navigate defendants through the bail phase of the criminal justice process and answer any questions that they may have.
The service is delivered in collaboration with our partners - the New Zealand Police, Courts, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Ministry of Justice. It builds on our commitment in our strategy Hōkai Rangi to provide humanising and healing services alongside individuals and their whānau.
Bail Support Services is currently offered in Kaitaia, Tāmaki Makaurau, Wellington, and Christchurch. Corrections is working to establish Bail Support Services across the country over the next three years.
How do individuals access the service?
The service can be accessed by defendants before their first appearance in Court where available. Bail Support Officers in the courts can assist defendants and their whānau.
BSOs work with defendants to gather necessary personal information and prepare documentation for the Courts in relation to a bail application. This supports sound and efficient decision-making by judges.
BSOs work directly with defence counsel and newly remanded defendants in prison to complete pre-checks and gather information to ensure their bail or EM Bail proposal is as robust and sustainable as possible.
In the community
Where bail is granted, defendants are offered community support while they are in Court, or they are able to access it through their lawyer. For those who are granted EM Bail, Bail Support Services are responsible for undertaking the persons induction to ensure they understand their bail conditions and boundary for EM Bail. At this time, Bail Support Officers will talk to defendants and their whānau about Bail Support Services and offer to provide additional support in the community. Bail Support Officers can support people on bail or EM bail to access support services in the community that address their individual social needs. Bail Support Officers work alongside defendants to create a plan that helps achieve their individual goals.
Should the case proceed to sentencing, Bail Support Officers complete a report for the Court. This report captures the positive actions the defendant has taken during their time on bail, to be taken into account by the Judge at sentencing.
Get in touch
If you or someone you know wish 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
Please phone Kaitaia Community Corrections on 09 408 6020
Waitakere District Court and Northshore District Court
Manukau District Court, Papakura District Court and Pukekohe District Court
Auckland District Court
Wellington District Court, Hutt Valley District Court and Porirua District Court
Christchurch District Court