Pre-Trial detentions have far-reaching ramifications that affect many other sections of the overall criminal justice process. This reason alone points to its incredible importance as a tool used in courtroom proceedings and the corrections system. These types of detentions should be changed or abolished in many cases, but not necessarily all. Pre-trial detentions can be an issue of contention for criminal justice professionals, the general public and lawmakers. This again makes the issue an important one because its effects can be felt across a wide range of society. Overall it is not a matter of abolishing or increasing pre-trial detention, but rather reforming the way and frequency in which it is used.
When an individual is arrested they can be dealt with in one of a few manners by the system. The individual who is accused can be released before trial on bail or on their own recognizance, or they can be detained pre-trial. This has the effect of holding individuals with fewer resources in jail before their trial since many times they cannot afford even the lowest bail amounts. This has caused concern for many in the criminal justice field since there is a disparate number of poor and minority individuals of lower socioeconomic status being arrested and held for extended pre-trial detentions. Pre-trial detentions can also have an impact on communities since individuals are taken out of their communities and are therefore unable to work or provide for themselves or their families. In addition to the aforementioned, there is a considerable problem with the increasing number of individuals in jails. These jails are overcrowded and many times fall below acceptable standards for housing inmates. The reliance on pre-trial detentions has only added to the higher amounts of money being pumped into the jail system to try and accommodate this growing population. Much of this is due to the fact that pre-trial detention can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Many of these problems could be minimized with less use of pre-trial detention in cases where it is not absolutely necessary that it be used.