Improving Health in Pretrial Detention

Nearly 10 million people each year worldwide pass through a pretrial setting. Although they have not been convicted of a crime, pretrial detainees are often incarcerated for months or even years in overcrowded facilities where they are exposed to communicable diseases such as HIV or tuberculosis and rarely have access to basic or necessary medical care.

Recognizing the urgent need for improvements in pretrial conditions, the Open Society Foundations have piloted a variety of interventions as part of their Global Campaign for Pretrial Justice. This public health fact sheet describes initiatives in Russia, Ukraine, and Indonesia that have successfully addressed some of the most immediate concerns, including medical-legal collaboration to secure release on health grounds or deliver vital treatment to detainees.