The Use of Pretrial Detention in Nuevo León
This Open Society Justice Initiative report examines pretrial detention case processing in Mexico, focusing on the state of Nuevo León.
The researchers had unprecedented access to a sample of 624 court files in Nuevo León's capital city of Monterrey. They looked at whether the judicial process at the pretrial stage meets minimum standards of due process, is consistent with international and local norms, follows predictable criteria, applies pretrial detention to an appropriate set of people, and uses information properly to achieve justice.
Overall, the study shows that Nuevo León could employ a much more liberal approach to granting bail without risking public security. Given that most of the people ordered into pretrial detention are accused of nonviolent and minor crimes, releasing higher numbers of these people before trial might reduce expenses for the government, avoid loss of employment for the persons charged, and achieve greater respect for human rights—without significant risks to public safety.
By debunking some of the myths about people who are detained, this study aims to promote the presumption of innocence, help the public accept pretrial release, assist the government in channeling its resources more efficiently, and help officials establish policies that will take advantage of the reform climate in Mexico and contribute to the improvement of the criminal justice system.
The full report is available for download in Spanish.
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