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Family violence bail programme expanded

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/05/2016

A pilot programme that helps judges make better informed family violence bail decisions is being expanded.

It started in September last year in Porirua and Christchurch, and from this month district courts in Wellington and Northland will start using it as well.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says it gives judges making bail decisions in family violence cases more information about the risks defendants pose.

Judges and registrars receive a summary report for every family violence bail application.

It details whether police have previously received calls in relation to family violence incidents involving the defendant, and signals if they are subject to any safety or protection orders.

"Initiatives like this have the potential to improve how the justice sector keeps victims safe, manages offenders and holds them to account, and breaks cycles of violence," Ms Adams said on Monday.

"Before the pilot began, the information judges received depended on whether bail was opposed or not - it did not always detail whether a defendant's previous offences were family violence related."

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