Most individuals consider continued confinement to a residential detention facility and denial of access to phone, mail, and family visits to constitute involuntary detention. The majority of the federal courts of appeal do not agree, however, and will not grant sentence credit to a federal offender for time spent, as a condition of bond, in a "treatment center" or "halfway house."' These same courts, without exception, grant sentence credit to individuals who are remanded to these residen- tial facilities after conviction. This inequity violates the purpose of the Bail Reform Act of 1966 (the "Act"), which ensures even-handed and uniform execution of sentences. Congress sought to correct the inequities in the federal system for accused persons who did not make bail and therefore spent a longer time in jail than an accused person with an identical sentence who qualified for bail.' The Act offers guidance to judges and magistrates in their treatment of pre-trial defendants by providing court officials with four options in pre-trial hearings. A judicial officer may: (1) release the suspect on his own recognizance or on a secured or unsecured bond; (2) detain the individual to revoke a previous conditional release or deport an illegal alien; (3) detain the suspect until his trial; or (4) release the individual on a "conditional release," subject to certain specified requirements.
Sentence Credit for Pre-Trial Defendants Released to Residential Detention Facilities,
46 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol46/iss6/7