Most Americans expect that, if they are arrested, they will quickly appear before a judge, learn about the charges, and have an attorney assigned to defend them. The reality is vastly different. After arrest, a person can wait in jail for days, weeks, or even months before seeing a judge or meeting an attorney. Read our report and recommendations.
The Prosecutorial Charging Practices Project takes a deep dive into the work of three mid-sized prosecutor’s offices in discrete geographic locations. The study offers a holistic account of prosecutors’ screening and charging practices, exploring how prosecutors engage with police, evaluate evidence, and assess the public interest in prosecution.
Using advanced HTML scraping techniques, Deason Center researchers successfully gathered and merged county-level jail and court data from three Iowa counties. This novel proof-of-concept project illustrates the potential of online public records to provide researchers with valuable information, such as how long defendants waited in jail before their first court appearance.
This 2019 Deason Center study investigated racial disparities in how police in four Dallas municipalities handled low-level drug arrests. The results appear in the Center’s 2021 report, A Preliminary Look at Disparities in Police Enforcement of Low-Level Drug Laws. The Center’s Dallas Partnership Project builds on this important work to advance Texas reform.