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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74104 Find in a Library
Title: Presumed Innocent
Author(s): S Moore; C Beller
Corporate Author: WNET Producing Station
Viewer Services
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Sponsoring Agency: Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
TVG Documentary Arts Project, Inc
New York, NY 10019
WNET Producing Station
New York, NY 10019
Sale Source: Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

TVG Documentary Arts Project, Inc
1697 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This award-winning documentary takes a hard-hitting look at pretrial detention at the House of Detention for Men (HDM) on Rikers Island in New York City.
Abstract: HDM houses 2,000 men awaiting the disposition of their cases in court. Although these men have not been convicted of a crime, the conditions they endure are considered by some to be worse than those for sentenced inmates. According to the program, most of the inmates at HDM are there because they are too poor to meet bail imposed by the court. Many wait for as long as 2 years before their cases are resolved. Moreover, 85 percent of the inmates at HDM are black or hispanic. Through stark sequences of life in jail and interviews with inmates and criminal justice officials, the documentary portrays the problems faced by the HDM inmates while their cases go through the courts. The process of pretrial detention is viewed through the eyes of inmates, guards, judges, and lawyers. Examination covers how the bail system affects the poor and the subsequent social, constitutional, and legal implications of detention. Aspects of the institution are revealed which are not usually seen by the public, such as inmates being strip-searched, a stabbing, a suicide watch, the mental observation block, family visits, and an inmate being released on $100 bail. The program was broadcast nationally over Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) in June 1980.
Index Term(s): Bail/Financial Release; Black/African Americans; Correctional reform; Detention; Hispanic Americans; Judicial process; New York; Pretrial procedures; Rights of the accused
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