Pretrial Detention
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According to an ILANUD study, between 1978 and 1992, the percentage of individuals imprisoned without a conviction in 15 Latin American nations averaged 50% of the total prison population. In nine countries in the region, the average was 70%. In practice, prior to the criminal procedure reforms that have been implemented in the majority of the countries in the region over the past few decades, pretrial detention was the general rule regarding the situation of individuals who were incarcerated in the region.


The criminal procedure reform sought to replace inquisitory systems with adversarial procedure models. The reforms have proposed a new regulatory system that recognizes the presumption of innocence and seeks to make the use of incarceration during the process exceptional and solely for protective reasons. In this context, the hearing is introduced as the methodology for making judicial decisions -including preliminary hearings to discuss whether or not pretrial detention is warranted-, a broad set of protective measures were established, and an effort was made to decrease the number of individuals imprisoned without a conviction.


This area of work is focused on the progress and challenges related to these topics as well as the need for discussion in preliminary hearings and rational use of protective measures. To this end, the Center is exploring programs that draw on comparative experiences such as pretrial services. .

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