Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Paul B. Wice
Preventive detention in the United States is a fairly recent procedure for denying pretrial release to defendants the court decides are dangerous and a threat to the community. It developed as a response to growing concern over the belief that an increasing amount of crime was being committed by persons awaiting trial. Judges had for years informally achieved preventive detention for defendants who were deemed likely to commit additional crimes during the pretrial period by setting cash bail sufficiently high to ensure that the defendant would be unable to raise the required bond. Although the statutory purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant will appear for trial, preventive detention adds new issues for the court to consider in the evaluation of the defendant's pretrial status. Beyond the defendant's likelihood of appearance, the judge may also decide whether he or she is sufficiently dangerous to create a threat to ...