Testing Community Supervision for the INS An Evaluation of the Appearance Assistance Program


In 1996, the Immigration and Naturalization Service asked Vera to establish a supervised release project for people in removal proceedings in New York City. The INS goal was the explore supervision and evaluate its effect on people's rates of appearance in court and compliance with court ruling compared to other alternatives to detention already used by the agency, such as bond, parole, and release on recognizance. The Appearance Assistance Program (AAP), a three year test of community supervision for people in immigration removal proceedings, began operating in February 1997, and closed in March 2000. The AAP demonstrated that the INS does not have to detain all noncitizens in removal proceedings to ensure high rates of appearance at immigration court hearings. Ninety-one percent of participants in the intensive program attended all required hearings in comparison to 71% of noncitizens released on bond or parole. Among this report's other findings: supervision is more cost effective than detention and AAP supervision almost doubled the rate of compliance with final orders. Appendices to the Final Report are also included as a separate file.