Protective Custody Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Protective Custody, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Protective Custody?

n.It is an arrangement of providing accomodation to a person by legal authorities other then his home when he is under any kind of threat from another person. Protective custody can be provided to a person who has witnessed a serious crime and is being threatened by the accused or his associates of any kind of physical violence for providing evidence.Protective custody is also provided to women threatened by their husbands, boyfriends or any other person and to children who are abused physically or mentally or are under any kind of threat from any person.

History and Meaning of Protective Custody

Protective custody is an arrangement from legal authorities to protect individuals who may be subjected to danger, either from criminals or from others. It allows these individuals to be taken into custody for their own physical and mental safety. Protective custody can be provided to any individual who may be a victim of domestic abuse or any form of violence. Additionally, it can be provided to individuals who are at risk of retaliation for providing evidence in criminal cases or to children who are being abused or are living in dangerous situations.

The term 'protective custody' emerged in the United States during the late 19th century, and it was initially used almost exclusively for the protection of women and children caught in domestic violence disputes. The history of protective custody can also be dated back to ancient civilizations, where individuals seeking protection from violence would often seek refuge in temples or other holy places.

Examples of Protective Custody

  • A witness to a murder is placed in protective custody by the police because the suspect is still at large and may attempt to harm the witness.
  • A woman who fears for her safety after leaving an abusive relationship is placed in protective custody by the court system to keep her safe from further harm.
  • A child whose parents are under investigation for child abuse is placed in protective custody by social services to protect the child from further physical or emotional harm.

Legal Terms Similar to Protective Custody

  • Detention: the act of keeping individuals in custody or confinement, often used in immigration or criminal law.
  • Arrest: the act of legally depriving someone of their freedom, usually used in the context of criminal law.
  • Injunction: a court order that requires an individual or an organization to stop performing a specific activity or behavior.