Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-22-2017


This Global Best Practice Catalog of Alternatives to Pretrial Detention was completed by students of the Master of Arts Degree Program in International Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice as part of their capstone course, in collaboration with the US State Department's Diplomacy Lab program. This catalog is intended to cover best practices in reducing pretrial detention (either before it occurs or while it is occurring) across the globe, including laws, policies and programs. It does not include Oceania or very detailed information on North America. Each entry meets 5 of 8 criteria below, as decided by the students:

1. It respects human rights

2. It is affordable for the country's budget

3. It is available to the majority of accused

4. It is definable: we know how the best practice works in context

5. It ensures public safety: no further crime or victimization occurs upon release from detention

6. It is verifiable: more than one source attests to it (it is not a recommendation - it really exists)

7. It is sustainable - it really works and it can self-subsist

8. It should not result in profits for private entities, beyond reasonable salaries

Each entry includes:

Title of the Practice

Listing of the class best practice criteria that it meets (5 out of 8)

Paragraph description of the practice, to include

-how long it’s been in practice

-what the main components of the best practice are

-scope: local or national

-who it affects

-costs if available (how it’s funded)

-who’s in charge of it (e.g. NGO/organizational structure)

-any independent evaluations?


-whether it has been exported elsewhere (used in another country)



Associated files are a series of case studies where student teams apply global best practice to selected countries. (El Salvador, Uruguay, Bangladesh, Ghana, Liberia and Macedonia.)



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