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What Is Pretrial Detention?


When a person is waiting for trial or for his or her court hearing to proceed, it may happen that he or she be placed in a holding facility. This refers to pretrial detention, and is different from an imprisonment facility. People subject to pretrial detention are not necessarily guilty of some form of crime or offense and are not subject to treatment as prisoners or offenders.


Pretrial detention provides restrictions or limitations on a person’s activities, but not as severe as a jail. People who are placed in pretrial detention often have some of their freedom curtailed due to security reasons.


2 main reasons exist for pretrial detention. The first is that the person in question is unable to post bail due to financial insecurity. It is possible that a bail may be set too high for the person to afford it or it is also possible that a bail bondsperson will not underwrite a bond to provide someone the opportunity to be free of bail or to post bail. Thus, people are placed in pretrial detention because they generally cannot afford to pay the bail provided for by a court of law. The second reason is that the person in question has been denied bail. A denial of bail can occur to prisoners who have been accused. This can also refer to a person’s issue of safety in terms of a person being a flight risk or the possibility of a person not returning for the court hearing.

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