Harms of Pretrial Detention
April 24, 2019 | Grantee Publications | Criminal Justice

Increased pretrial detention—jailing of people who have not been convicted of a crime—disproportionately harms people of color and people with lower incomes, according to an evidence brief from Vera Institute of Justice. Between 1970 and 2015, pretrial detention has increased 433 percent, primarily due to overreliance on monetary bail. And people who are detained before a trial for longer periods see harmful, lasting effects like harsher sentencing, increased convictions, and higher likelihood of repeated contact with the justice system. Vera, a MacArthur grantee, outlined some strategies for safely reducing pretrial detention, including more robust bail hearings, early legal representation, and using court date reminders.

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