Initial Appearance Project

hands of man behind bars


Across the United States, thousands of newly-arrested people disappear, languishing behind bars for days, weeks – or even months – before they ever see a judge or an attorney. The Deason Center has taken the lead in confronting this initial appearance crisis. The Initial Appearance Project builds information, advances education, and supports litigation about the right to a prompt post-arrest judicial appearance. The Center’s innovative Jail Justice Project compiles data about initial appearance delays around the country. Professor Metzger’s article, Criminal (Dis)Appearance (forthcoming in the March 2020 issue of the George Washington Law Review) grapples with the constitutional implications of initial appearance delays. The Deason Center’s national legislative and litigation partnerships will enforce the Due Process right to a prompt post-arrest judicial appearance. Click here to read the paper.