Pretrial Detention and the Concept of Bail example

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Pretrial Detention and the Concept of Bail

There are several devices in the justice system of the U.S. which are aimed at ensuring the participation of law offenders in the criminal procedure. According to M. Gottfredson and D. Gottfredson (2013), pretrial detention resides in keeping the suspect in jail before the trial and final decision of the court if there is a possibility that the person may try to escape the court hearings or justice in general if he or she gets freedom. The current pretrial detention law is being underway of reforms and transformation, as well as it is a subject of active debates in the U.S. While it is natural that people who committed the capital crime should be separated from the society if they prevent danger, the justification of other cases of pretrial retention may be questionable. The fact that the innocent people may get into a jail is embarrassing, but they may also be subjected to negative physical and psychological influence of incarceration.

The bail is a refundable fee which is paid to ensure that the person will participate in the trial and, eventually, will accept the decision of the court and just punishment. Sacks and Ackerman (2012) argue that the bail may be discriminating. The people who committed capital offense or present danger to their community if released are deprived of the right to use bail, which is reasonable, but one should consider that those who are eligible for paying bail may just be unable to afford it. It is proved that “race and gender play a strong role in judicial decision making” (Sacks & Ackerman, 2012, p. 62). Therefore, the only defense against unlawful incarceration is writs to Habeas Corpus, and one should take into account only recently illiterate and mentally disabled people received an opportunity to be assisted in composing writs (Wright, 2016). Thus, the bail is a sign of unequal protection by the law, which presents a challenge to current and future generation of justice professionals.


Gottfredson, M. & Gottfredson, D. (2013). Decision Making in Criminal Justice: Toward the Rational Exercise of Discretion (2nd ed.). Springer.

Sacks, M. & Ackerman, A. (2014). Bail and Sentencing. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 25(1), 59-77. doi:10.1177/0887403412461501

Wright, B. (2016). The Prison Law Library: A Fourteenth Amendment Necessity. Perspectives On Libraries As Institutions Of Human Rights And Social Justice, 209-228. …

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