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Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention

"Around the world, millions are effectively punished before they are tried. Legally entitled to be considered innocent and released pending trial, many accused are instead held in pretrial detention, where they are subjected to torture, exposed to life threatening disease, victimized by violence, and pressured for bribes. It is literally worse than being convicted: pretrial detainees routinely experience worse conditions than sentenced prisoners. The suicide rate among pretrial detainees is three times higher than among convicted prisoners, and ten times that of the outside community. Pretrial detention harms individuals, families, and communities; wastes state resources and human potential; and undermines the rule of law ... Presumption of Risk examines the full consequences of the global overuse of pretrial detention. Combining statistical analysis, first-person accounts, graphics, and case studies of successful reforms, the report is the first to comprehensively document this widespread but frequently ignored form of human rights abuse." Sections following the Executive Summary and Recommendations are: introduction; the scope of pretrial detention around the world-its extent and cost; who the world's pretrial detainees are; circumstances of detention and impact on detainees and their communities; the causes of arbitrary and excessive use of pretrial detention; the implications for the rule of law; reducing the arbitrary and excessive use of pretrial detention; and conclusion.