Over 40 percent of prisoners in Mexico are awaiting trial. In raw numbers this translates into about 95,000 people detained without trial during the course of one year. Over half of these people will be exonerated and released—but after a lengthy period of pretrial detention. This has clear implications, such as severe overcrowding with prisons at 134 percent of official capacity.
In 2007, Mexico initiated an integral reform of its criminal justice system. It became clear that the state lacked the mechanisms to supervise defendants on provisional release and assure that they comply with the pretrial release conditions imposed by the judge.
To address this reality, the state of Morelos formed a strategic alliance with the Open Society Justice Initiative to establish a program to manage supervised pretrial release. The system, outlined in this fact sheet, seeks to balance the presumption of innocence with the state’s duty to maintain public safety as well as the integrity of the criminal justice process.