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The Rising Federal Pretrial Detention Rate, in Context

Volume 82 Number 2
September 2018

The author seeks to better contextualize the rising federal pretrial detention rate and, with that context, better identify opportunities for improvement. The author describes the structure of the federal pretrial system and the roles of those who are part of it, traces the changing profile of defendants charged in federal court; notes the institutional incentives leading some defendants to acquiesce in, rather than contest, pretrial detention; and examines the potential impact of legislative reform and judicial discretion in terms of the future of federal pretrial detention.