The electronic bail management system finally came on stream yesterday.
The system will make the bail application process, posting of bail and police station check-ins electronic.
Then-Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson signed a contract with Multimedia Technologies Limited to modernize the bail application and sign-in process in April 2017, a month before the Progressive Liberal Party suffered a crushing defeat at the polls.
The company still holds the contract for the project that Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree has touted as another plank in plans to modernize the court system.
The bail management system will make it easier to track the entire bail process, according to officials.
At a press conference to announce the launch of the system, Senior Justice Bernard Turner, who led the project for the judiciary, explained why it took so long to come to fruition.
According to Turner, the system was tweaked multiple times to ensure that the technology was as hacker-proof and user-friendly as possible.
During the fine-tuning process, Multimedia Systems also upgraded technology.
Turner said lawyers can now make bail applications online. Unrepresented defendants have not been left out and they can make bail applications by using kiosks at the Bahamas Department of Corrections.
According to Turner, the system shows all of a defendant’s pending matters.
He indicated that there have been occasions where a defendant has multiple charges, but doesn’t apply for bail for all of them. So, even if bail is granted in one matter, the defendant’s release on bail is delayed as he has to make another application for the other pending matters.
The system will also make it easier to ensure that defendants are complying with reporting conditions. Police stations had a roster, which defendants signed after presenting appropriate identification.
In the past, individuals have been caught signing the roster for others and other defendants have been prevented from signing because they didn’t have IDs.
With the kiosks, defendants sign in using biometrics, Turner said. The kiosk also takes a photo of the defendant.
Kiosks have been installed at the Criminal Registry, The Bahamas Department of Corrections, the Central Police Station, the East Street South Police Station, and the Central Police Station in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
The Office of the Judiciary will post a number of tutorials on how to use the kiosks, Turner said.