Justice Denied: Benson’s Story

After killing a man in self-defense, Benson turned himself in to Malawi's police. More than two years later, he was still waiting for a court hearing, while his body showed the scars from the long wait in Lilongwe's main prison.

With over 10 million people moving through holding facilities every year, communicable diseases present in often overcrowded cells pass easily from detainee to detainee. When people are eventually released back to their communities, diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB can be passed on to their friends and families.

The Open Society Justice Initiative is spearheading a Global Campaign for Pretrial Justice. We are documenting the costs of excessive and unnecessary pretrial detention. We are helping governments develop bail and supervision systems that can make pretrial detention an exception, and not the rule.