Alison Siegler and Jaden Lessnick, ’23: We Uncovered an ‘Access-to-Counsel Crisis’

Freedom Denied Part 3: Judges Must Stop Unlawfully Jailing Poor People Without Lawyers at the Initial Appearance Hearing

In Part II of our series describing the culture of detention that pervades the federal pretrial system, we explained how our Federal Criminal Justice Clinic's new report, Freedom Denied, found that judges and lawyers frequently misapply the Bail Reform Act's standard for detention at the Initial Appearance—often resulting in illegal jailing.

This post addresses the second of our four findings and recommendations: "Judges must stop unlawfully jailing poor people without lawyers at the Initial Appearance hearing."

We were the first to uncover a serious and previously unexplored "access-to-counsel crisis" in the federal system. In more than a quarter of federal district courts across the country, an indigent individual can be jailed without a lawyer by their side:

Read more at The Volokh Conspiracy