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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 192552 Find in a Library
Title: Reducing Unnecessary Detention: A Goal or Result of Pretrial Services?
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:65  Issue:3  Dated:December 2001  Pages:16-19
Author(s): James R. Marsh
Editor(s): Ellen Wilson Fielding
Date Published: December 2001
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses those external factors outside the control of pretrial services that affect the detention rate and simple and comprehensive approaches that localities can utilize to reduce unnecessary detention.
Abstract: In 1994, a national plan was developed to reduce unnecessary detention. The plan focused on the use of alternatives to detention. Around the same time, a plan was developed by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to transfer funds to pretrial services offices to aid in providing alternatives to detention and reduce jail crowding. The plan to reduce unnecessary detention failed to focus on the outside influences for the increase in detention rate and focused only on some factors under the control of pretrial services contributing to unnecessary detention, such as inefficient operations, under-use or inappropriate use of alternatives, and over-reliance on the charge or penalty. The rise in detention may be due to factors outside the control of pretrial services. Some of these factors include: (1) a 10-year increase (1989-1999) in violent offenders and illegal aliens; (2) an increase in defendants refusing to be interviewed by pretrial services; (3) the number of defendants appearing on writs; and (4) a large number of defendants unable to meet conditions of release. However, reducing unnecessary detention was an expected result of establishing pretrial services in the Federal system and it should be a result. It was recommended that a study be conducted to define and determine a national necessary detention rate.
Main Term(s): Pretrial services agencies
Index Term(s): Detention; Jail reform; Jails; Overcrowding; Pretrial release; Preventive detention
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