Lawyers are pushing for their clients to be released on bail or sentenced to less time in custody because coronavirus has caused prison life to become even more harsh.
A 60-year-old Huon woman had been living at a campground near the Hume Weir because she had allegedly breached an intervention order taken out by her neighbour and was banned from being within 10 kilometres of her home.
Barrister Sally Wilson told Wodonga Magistrates Court on Thursday that as someone at high-risk during the coronavirus pandemic, because of her age and chest infection issues, the woman should be allowed to return home.
Magistrate Ian Watkins said it was right that campgrounds had been closed, but accepted it had left some people homeless.
"I need to take into account the impact and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
"It would be harsh and unjust to deprive her of being able to go home in the circumstances."
Her bail was varied to allow the woman to return to the Huon property, but she was warned to not communicate with her neighbour.
Benjamin Kennedy, 32, has been in custody since February when he was caught with an M77 rifle, stolen cars and cannabis at his Wodonga home.
He is facing more time in jail after pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges including possessing a firearm and theft, but barrister Diana Price asked for a shorter sentence than would normally be imposed.
She said restrictions prevented prisoners from working in groups, which meant they could not earn money to make phone calls to their families and caused jail to be "more strenuous and more onerous than it would otherwise be".
"Contact between prisoners in custody is significantly reduced, they are on lockdown," she said.
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Mr Watkins said he was willing to take prisoner conditions into account.
"In the current climate, I would give him a fixed (jail) sentence with a corrections order on his release the act as a safety net," he said.
The case was adjourned until next week for sentencing.
But there are also issues with putting people on corrections orders - assessments done in person can now only happen over the phone, and a lot of unpaid community work programs have been put on hold as people are social distancing.
Speaking in Wangaratta Magistrates Court, solicitor Geoff Clancy said he was concerned his indigenous clients on remand or serving jail sentences during the coronaviurs outbreak.
"There's every chance Aboriginal people may be at even higher risk of this virus and being in custody even more of a risk, so that's something I'm going to be following up," he said.