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Practical Guide to Detainers

NCJ Number
PRISON LAW MONITOR Volume: 2 Issue: 10 Dated: (April 1980) Pages: 262-267
L Fleishman
Date Published
6 pages
To aid prisoners in selecting the proper detainer strategy, this article describes types of detainers, or the requests that the present agency of imprisonment hold a prisoner at the end of his sentence so that the demanding authority may take custody of the individual.
Three common types of detainers may confront an inmate: the detainer based on an untried charge, the detainer based on a parole or probation violation, and a conviction detainer. The detainer based on an untried charge is the type most likely to face an inmate. Depending on the detainer type, an inmate must determine whether to use a strategy of negotiation; to employ the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, which provides for an expeditious and orderly disposition of untried charges and determination of the proper status of all detainers issued by demanding States; or to rely on speedy trial provisions. Detainers based on untried charges allow the greatest number of strategic choices and can often be resolved through negotiation. Detainers based on parole or probation warrants allow some strategy choices and occasionally can be resolved. Conviction detainers afford few strategy options and are seldom successfully resolved. Each detainer case, however, is unique and requires a carefully crafted response. If the response is correct, the inmate can be assured of a reduced period of incarceration under improved conditions. Case studies are provided to show salient factors in detainer negotiation. Footnotes are provided. (Author abstract modified)


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