Fact Sheet: Pretrial Detention and the Risk of Torture

Torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment are not aberrations in pretrial detention. They are common—even routine—in many detention facilities.

Pretrial detainees are wholly in the power of detaining authorities, many of whom perceive torture as the fastest way to obtain information or a confession and the easiest way to exercise physical and mental control over detainees. The practice is exacerbated by indiscriminate arrests, primarily of poor people without the resources to extricate themselves from detention; criminal justice systems that rely on confessions rather than good policing; official corruption; and public acceptance of torture.