Lessons from the past: Remand detention and pre-trial services
A 1997 project established by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based non-government organisation, aimed to alleviate overcrowding in South African prisons by assisting magistrates in bail proceedings and thereby decreasing the number of admissions into awaiting trial facilities. Understanding the context in which the project operated leads to the important observation that efforts to launch and sustain discrete experiments in justice innovation will necessarily come under strain when faced with aggressively adverse macro circumstances, like the ones that faced Vera’s pre-trial project. However, the legal and social milieu has changed over the last twelve years. It is perhaps time to once again explore how innovations in criminal justice administration (a much-needed initiative) might best work in the various criminal justice management areas, given the discrete circumstances of each.
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