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Meaning of preventive detention

preven'tive deten'tion

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. the holding of someone in jail or in an institution because he or she is regarded as a danger to the community.
  2. imprisonment of habitual criminals for periods ranging from 5 to 14 years during which they are given corrective training or placed under psychiatric and medical care.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.