Examples Of Preventive Detention

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Discussion 2_Preventative Detention

1. What is preventive detention?

The pretrial detention of juvenile suspect is an important troubling aspect of the juvenile justice process. Courts are faced with the task of determining what should be done with a juvenile alleged to be delinquent pending a hearing on that issue. Preventive detention refers to the use of executive power to detain as a means of preventing future crimes. Detention in these circumstances is labeled ‘preventive’ or ‘precautionary’ as the person is detained on the grounds that they are predicted to commit future criminal conduct contrary to national interest. In the juvenile justice system, preventive detention is the term given to the detention of juveniles who are in custody because they are alleged to have committed a criminal offense and are perceived to be dangerous. The District of Columbia preventive detention statutes makes clear that the juvenile is held to “assure the safety of the community” or to prevent obstruction of justice. The primary reason for keeping the person in custody is his status as dangerous. It is another instance of social defense. Locking up a child who has not yet been found guilty because he or she might commit another offense or might not appear for a court hearing amounts to preventive detention. Although adults charged with crime have the benefit of a bail hearing and the criteria and determination of whether bail is warranted is clear, no such mechanism exists in the
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