Advocates from Across the U.S. Gather to Discuss Holistic Defense
Last week The Bronx Defenders invited fellow public defenders and advocates from 24 organizations – including 18 public defender offices – across the U.S. to its first Holistic Defense round table. The two-day gathering represented the first opportunity to convene in one room a group of innovators and trailblazers who are challenging traditional criminal justice systems and redefining public defense in their jurisdictions. These partners in holistic defense have helped The Bronx Defenders to expand the model of holistic advocacy to reach clients, families, and communities far beyond the Bronx.
The round table included panel and small group discussions on a variety of topics related to providing holistic defense, including seamless access to services, communication and interdisciplinary teamwork, community engagement and outreach, creating a culture to support holistic defense, and what successes and failures both The Bronx Defenders and the various public defense partners have experienced in providing holistic defense services. Through its Center for Holistic Defense, supported with funds from the United States Department of Justice, the holistic defense model pioneered by The Bronx Defenders is being replicated, expanded, and strengthened by a growing network of interdisciplinary teams of attorneys, social workers, and client advocates in public defenders offices across California, Wisconsin, Georgia, and beyond. By bringing this model of defense to indigent individuals and communities across the U.S. who are targeted discriminatorily within the criminal justice system and suffer disproportionate negative consequences in almost every aspect of their lives, The Bronx Defenders and our partners in public defense are inspiring a movement of change.
To learn more about The Bronx Defenders’ Center for Holistic Defense visit our website here.