Prisons: North East

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 19th July 2022.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether prisons in the North East have been used as a place of safety for women fleeing domestic abuse.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The Bail Act 1976 creates a general presumption in favour of bail. The court can, however, refuse bail for a variety of reasons, including where it is satisfied that refusing bail is necessary for the defendant's own protection (adults) or own welfare (youth).

The court’s decision to remand an individual in custody for their own protection is used as a last resort and out of concern for the defendant, where circumstances are such that a defendant would come to harm if released into the community and there is no other suitable option available to the courts.

The Department does not centrally hold data on the reasons for remand into custody although we understand, anecdotally, that the power to remand for own protection is used sparingly.

The Government is committed to tackling domestic abuse. This commitment is demonstrated by our landmark Domestic Abuse Act last year, and more recently the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan. The Act has established a wide-ranging statutory definition of domestic abuse that incorporates a range of abusive behaviours beyond physical violence, brings in important new protections and support for victims in court and creates new offences such as non-fatal strangulation. Building on the Act, the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan seeks to transform the whole of society’s response in order to prevent offending, support victims and pursue perpetrators, as well as to strengthen the systems and processes in place to deliver these goals.

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