Mikaela RabinowitzJun 17, 2022
Incarceration without Conviction
Pretrial Detention and the Erosion of Innocence in American Criminal Justice
Mikaela Rabinowitz’s Incarceration without Conviction: Pretrial Detention and the Erosion of Innocence in American Criminal Justice (Routledge, 2021) addresses an understudied fairness flaw in the US criminal justice system: namely, the significant impact of pretrial detention on the millions of Americans held in local jails. On any given day, approximately 500,000 Americans are held in pretrial detention in US jails—not because they are a flight risk, but because they cannot pay for bail or a bail bond. Impacting disproportionally Black and poor individuals, Rabinowitz highlights how pretrial detention is at odds with juridical notions of fairness, effectively punishing Americans before guilt or innocence is ever explored in court. Using a mixed-methods approach, Rabinowitz argues that pretrial detention undermines both the presumption and the meaning of innocence in the American criminal justice system.
Incarceration without Conviction is available through Routledge. Mikaela Rabinowitz is Director of Data, Research, and Analytics at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Rine Vieth is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at McGill University, where they research the how UK asylum tribunals consider claims on the basis of belief. Their public writing focuses on issues of migration governance, as well as how inaccessibility and transphobia can shape the practice of anthropological research.