An arrest is never just an arrest.
Yes, it means being tightly handcuffed and thrown in the back of a police car.
Yes, it means getting hauled off to a cold, filthy jail cell for hours, days, and sometimes months.
And yes, it means missing work, school, and time with family while you shuffle back and forth to court never knowing what your fate will be.
But an arrest is never just an arrest. It can prompt the child welfare system to take an infant from a mother’s custody, trigger deportation proceedings for a legal permanent resident, and cause the public housing authority to throw a family into the street. An arrest is simply the first stone in an avalanche of dire legal and social consequences.
The Bronx Defenders employs a groundbreaking system of holistic defense to fight both the causes and consequences of involvement in the criminal justice system. Located in the heart of the South Bronx, our office has been engaged in a constant dialogue with the community we serve. What we have learned from that dialogue is that our client population has a host of legal and social support needs. As holistic defenders we are committed to providing our clients with seamless access to services to meet those needs. Our interdisciplinary teams of criminal, civil, and family defense lawyers, social workers, parent advocates, investigators, and community organizers work with clients and their families to identify and overcome the challenges they face. Whether addressing the root causes of their involvement in the criminal justice system such as addiction, mental illness, and joblessness or the collateral consequences of their criminal case, our goal is not just to succeed in court but to make a long-term difference in our clients’ lives.
Because at The Bronx Defenders, we know an arrest is never just an arrest.