Preventive Detention under the German Law

Preventive detention, a form of securitization for the time after a legal jail sentence has been served, can only be pronounced, in Germany, by court order. It is subject to review every two years and does not equal indefinite imprisonment – the latter running counter the Basic Law and outlawed by the UN Convention against Torture.

The fact that a person has been charged is no foundation for being punished under the presumption of guilt, and is thus illegitimate. In fact, German Law generally supports the presumption of innocence. In some countries, certain forms of legal conduct of a person can lead to that person being punished. More often than not, however, factors such as prejudice, prosecutor’s fallacy, or merely the existence of a legal charge have led judges or judicial deciders to supporting the condemnation of a defendant. Preventive detention, in this context, may not be pronounced, in Germany, for rejecting a predominant ideology.

Predictive policing, a consequence of which can be preventive detention, is often criticized for being reinforced by fallacious results of observation or stopping, under the impression of observation and processing bias, confirming social phenomena such as group prejudice and preconceived notions.

Thorsten Koch, MA, PgDip
16 November 2020

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