Bail in Law

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Bail in Law " The Law relating to bail strikes a fair balance between the

unconvicted person's right to remain at liberty while awaiting trial,

and the need to protect the public against the commission of further


Bail in law, procurement of release from prison of a person awaiting

trial or an appeal, by the deposit of security to insure his

submission at the required time to legal authority. The monetary value

of the security-known also as the bail, or, more accurately, the bail

bond-is set by the court having jurisdiction over the prisoner. The

security may be cash, the papers giving title to property, or the bond

of private persons of means or of a professional bondsman or bonding

company. Failure of the person released on bail to surrender himself

at the appointed time results in forfeiture of the security. Bail is

usually granted in a civil arrest. Courts have greater discretion to

grant or deny bail in the case of persons under criminal arrest, e.g.,

it is usually refused when the accused is charged with homicide. The

Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides

that "excessive bail shall not be required," but it does not provide

any absolute right to bail.

Between 1979 and 1989, the prison population of England and Wales grew

rapidly, 78% were attributed to the number of unconvicted persons

awaiting trial. The overcrowdin...

... middle of paper ... but it does

increase the prison population.

There are a number of problems with the bail system such as:

Ø A high number of those refused bail are acquitted

Ø Many are eventually given non-custodial sentences

Ø Too many people are being held in custody

Ø Periods of remand are too high.

But there have been several initiatives proposed and some implemented

to assist the system such as:

Ø Bail Support Schemes: they are set up to offer advice, counselling

and surveillance to those who are granted bail

Ø Bail Hostels: these are run by the probation service and offers

accommodation for defendants awaiting trial. This gives the defendant

freedom, whilst at the same time supervision.

Ø The government are currently preparing a Criminal Justice Bill,

which would Further restrict the use of bail.
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