The Future of Preventive Detention

26 Pages Posted: 17 May 2014

See all articles by Fredrick E. Vars

Fredrick E. Vars

University of Alabama - School of Law

Date Written: 2014


America is presently fighting a war on terror and war on sex offenders. In each, the government openly detains hundreds of individuals not for what they have done, but for what they might do. Some warn that this greatest restriction on liberty may expand to other types of people. This Article examines the risk of such expansion by putting our current wars in historical perspective. The two main conclusions are: (1) some categories of people detained in prior periods are not being detained today; and (2) the risk of expansion is real but lower than previously suggested.

Keywords: preventive detention, terrorism, sex offenders, history

Suggested Citation

Vars, Fredrick E., The Future of Preventive Detention (2014). Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 75, 2014; U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2437934. Available at SSRN:

Fredrick E. Vars (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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