Forgotten defendants and crumbling criminal justice

The pandemic has brought serious financial hardship and forced social exclusion, unemployment and restrictions on many. But often overlooked is the impact on the legally innocent people caught up in our underfunded and crumbling criminal justice system during Covid-19, awaiting trial. 

Defendants are being detained in a deeply punitive carceral limbo. They are held by a criminal justice system which sees year-long delays as standard, after the pandemic laid waste to its already barely functioning infrastructure, in prisons which have been epicentres of the pandemic. But as government and parliament assess the remains and consider how to move forward, defendants are being forgotten.

“Prosecutors must give a good reason for the court to hold people in custody longer than the legal time limit that a defendant can be held before the trial”, the Legal and Policy Officer Griff Ferris, says.

Read the article at The Society Law Gazette

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