This procedure describes CAHABPS and the service it provides.
When to use this procedure
When police have contact with youth justice young people outside business hours.
What else you need to know
Practice context and legislation
- CAHABPS is a statewide after-hours service available to young people aged between 10 and 17 years who are at risk of remand by police or where bail accommodation may be required.
- CAHABPS provides a single point of contact for police matters if police and/or a bail justice are considering remand of a young person outside of business hours.
- During business hours, police can contact a community based youth justice service. CAHABPS hours of operation are Monday to Friday between 5.00 pm and 3.00 am and weekends and public holidays between 9.30 am and 3.00 am.
- Principles underpinning bail facilitation and advice include:
- diverting young people from entering or progressing further into the criminal justice system consistent with the sentencing principles of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
- the use of remand for only the most serious of cases and for situations where all other strategies to maintain the young person in the community are inappropriate or have failed
- the importance of minimising the length of time young people spend detained on remand due to stigma, criminal contagion and disconnection from family and community.
- If the bail hearing concerns a young person known to youth justice and occurs out of business hours, the decision to contact CAHABPS for bail advocacy should consider the best option for advocacy on behalf of the young person, and whether this might be undertaken by the area youth justice team.
- CAHABPS and the bail justice may require advice from the area youth justice team regarding a young person's suitability for release on bail and facilitation of appropriate accommodation.
- The department implements a flexible work arrangements policy which applies to the ordinary hours of work between 7.00 am and 7.00 pm.
Roles and key tasks
- CAHABPS worker
- Case manager
- Team leader / team manager
- CAHABPS shift manager
- Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
- Receive police notification, after 5.00 pm, regarding a young person due to appear before a bail justice.
- Access information provided by youth justice worker and on CRIS.
- Meet with young person and, if they agree, conduct assessment of suitability for bail.
- Provide assistance with accommodation and referral to support services.
- Provide assessment and advice to bail justice.
- Document bail hearing outcome on CRIS and advise area youth justice team and youth justice precinct if young person is remanded.
- Prepare CAHABPS possible contact form for high-risk young people deemed likely to come into contact with police beyond core business hours.
- Receive police notification, before 5.00 pm, about a young person due to appear before a bail justice.
- Provide advice to bail justice regarding suitability for bail.
- Liaise with team leader and consult with Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor on operational issues as required.
Team leader / team manager
- Consult and endorse recommendations on possible contact form or in relation to suitability for bail.
- Provide guidance and consultation on, and endorsement of, case management issues as required.
CAHABPS shift manager
- Respond to the operational demands of both CAHABPS and the Streetwork Outreach Service.
- Prioritise workload and responses to CAHABPS referrals for both metropolitan and rural matters.
Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Provide consultation on disputes between CAHABPS and area youth justice service.
- Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice program.
- Provide case consultation regarding court recommendations, breaches and young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours.
Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
- Provide consultation on case management issues, particularly in relation to young people exhibiting high-risk behaviour. This should occur subject to any local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support and the Senior Practice Adviser.
The procedure in detail
- When to contact CAHABPS
- Bail justice hearing
- Role of CAHABPS
- Possible contact form
- Bail hearings without CAHABPS involvement
- Community based youth justice workers
- Dispute between CAHABPS and community youth justice service
- Exceptional circumstances
- Independent person or guardian
When to contact CAHABPS
Police can only detain people for a 'reasonable time' (Crimes Act, s. 464A).
A child who has been arrested may be released unconditionally, released on bail, or brought before the court.
If the court is not sitting at any convenient venue, a child must be brought before a bail justice within a reasonable time of being taken into custody, but not later than 24 hours after being taken into custody.
Bail cannot be refused on the basis of lack of accommodation.
Police must notify CAHABPS prior to a bail hearing, if they are pursuing a remand application after hours.
Bail justice hearing
The bail justice conducts an out-of-hours bail hearing to determine a person's liberty or their need to be remanded until the next children's court sitting.
In criminal matters the bail justice balances community risk against the person's liberty, and determines whether they present an unacceptable risk if released into the community on bail.
The bail justice's role is to explore the underlying causes of the situation, but is present only to determine whether or not to grant bail or authorise continuing custody.
The bail justice will not hear the merits of the charges.
If the bail justice refuses bail, and remand is the outcome, the young person will be held in custody to be brought before the next session of the children's court.
The young person can be placed in a police gaol if the period of remand is not more than two working days, under r. 19 of the Children Youth and Families Regulations 2007.
If the remand period is greater than two days the young person must be taken to a remand centre specified in the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
Role of CAHABPS
CAHABPS will respond to contacts where young people are at risk of remand.
The primary role of CAHABPS is to undertake an assessment and provide advice about the young person's suitability for bail placement.
This assessment will consider:
- seriousness of the offence
- risk to the community
- likely compliance with bail conditions
- previous history of detention
- support networks available to the young person
- impact of exposure to a youth justice custodial service.
- explores alternative options with police as a part of a diversionary response
- provides the young person with support
- provides information about the remand process and court proceedings
- provides assistance with bail accommodation and referral to youth and family support services.
CAHABPS may attend the police station or conduct a phone response to enable assessment of the young person's suitability for bail placement, and if appropriate, place the young person in suitable accommodation.
CAHABPS is a voluntary service that young people can refuse to access. In these circumstances, CAHABPS will not conduct an assessment, or provide an assessment to the bail justice. However, it will prepare a report in CRIS outlining the outcome.
If the young person agrees, CAHABPS will interview the young person, the family/guardian or any significant parties and then proceed with assessment and recommendation.
The young person will be advised of the outcome of the assessment prior to the bail hearing. The CAHABPS coordinator provides the assessment to the bail justice during the hearing.
The young person must agree to fulfil the terms and conditions of bail.
If the CAHABPS worker identifies significant child protection concerns for the young person, a report to child protection may be required.
Possible contact form
For young people currently involved with youth justice, the allocated case manager can provide assistance to CAHABPS by preparing a 'Possible contact form' on CRIS.
This is prepared for young people who are assessed by youth justice case managers as being at risk of contact with police outside business hours.
The form should provide information about the factors CAHABPS considers when determining suitability for bail, including:
- the age of the young person and their vulnerability
- the nature of the offence
- prior criminal history including type and patterns of offending
- the appropriateness of detention, taking into account physical, emotional and mental health wellbeing
- the number of current sets of bail and type of charges
- risk of further offending
- any alleged breach of current bail orders
- current level of substance use
- education, training and employment commitments
- living arrangements
- cultural factors.
The 'Possible contact form' should also provide a recommendation about suitability for bail, which CAHABPS can choose to take into account.
This recommendation should be endorsed by the team leader, and this endorsement should be indicated in a sentence in the possible contact form.
Bail hearings without CAHABPS involvement
In some circumstances, an after-hours bail hearing can occur outside CAHABPS operating hours, and therefore without CAHABPS involvement.
Bail hearings can also occur without CAHABPS involvement, if the area youth justice service is involved with a young person and the matter comes to their attention before 5.00 pm and is resolved before 7.00 pm.
Community based youth justice workers
If, before 5.00 pm, youth justice becomes aware that a young person with current youth justice involvement is in police custody and at risk of being remanded, the area youth justice service should endeavour to provide advice to the bail justice at hearings occurring before 7.00 pm.
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to provide this information by telephone.
Consistent with the department's flexitime policy, any specific instances of flexitime being worked between 5.45 pm and 7.00 pm on a week day need to be approved by a team manager.
There may be exceptional circumstances where a matter brought to the attention of the area youth justice worker before 5.00 pm is not likely to be finalised before 7.00 pm, and a case manager cannot continue to manage the matter.
In these circumstances, negotiation should occur between the youth justice team leader and CAHABPS shift manager, to determine the terms under which CAHABPS will assume responsibility.
If CAHABPS assumes responsibility for the hearing, a completed 'Possible contact form' with a recommendation about suitability for bail should be available on CRIS, where possible.
If CRIS is not accessible at the time of handover, verbal advice is acceptable.
Advice or recommendations about suitability for bail should not, under any circumstances, be provided to police to convey to the bail justice.
If the area youth justice worker is not able to provide this information at the hearing or by phone to the bail justice, negotiation must occur before the hearing between the worker, team leader and CAHABPS shift manager to ensure an appropriate person is available to advocate for the young person.
Dispute between CAHABPS and community youth justice service
If the team leader and shift manager are unable to resolve a dispute about roles and responsibilities for a specific matter, consult with the Assistant Director or Manager Individual and Family Support.
Independent person or guardian
Under s. 464E(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1958, a parent, guardian, or independent person must be present when bail is considered at the police station for a person younger than 18 years.
A parent or guardian, or if they are unable or unwilling to attend, an independent person, must also be present when police interview a young person.
In these circumstances, youth justice staff cannot act as an independent person and the police should be referred to the Youth Referral and Independent Persons Program (YRIPP).
If the young person is remanded, they may be taken to Parkville Youth Justice Precinct.
In rural areas the young person must be remanded in a remand centre or to a gaol in a prescribed region of the state. These are known as gazetted holding cells.
There are prescribed locations in regional areas, which are listed in Schedule Three of the Children, Youth and Families Regulations 2007.
The CAHABPS worker informs the youth justice precinct of the pending arrival of a young person.
Community based youth justice workers should document contact with police, CAHABPS and the 'Possible contact form' in CRIS.
Upon conclusion of a CAHABPS matter, undertake the following:
- Record CAHABPS involvement, process and outcomes on the CAHABPS screen in the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).
- Complete diversionary or bail hearing report on CRIS.
- Complete court appearance screen.
- Send an email with limited identifying information to divisional nominees, to advise of the hearing outcome, and direct them to the young person's CRIS file, for further information about the young person.
- Protocol between child protection and Youth Justice
- Child Protection Practice Manual (CPPM internet link)
- Code of conduct for Victorian Public Sector employees
- Youth Justice court advice service client information guide (intranet only) (103.5 KB, MS WORD)
- Youth Referral and Independent Person Program (YRIPP)