Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Announcements

The Bronx Defenders testifies before NYC Council on the need for bail reform

Earlier this week, Justine Olderman, Managing Director of the Criminal Defense Practice, Robyn Mar, Director of Early Advocacy, and Noelle Turtur, Project Associate, submitted testimony on behalf of The Bronx Defenders before the New York City Council Committees on Courts and Legal Services and Fire and Criminal Justice on the dire need for reform of the New York…

Bronx Defenders statement on NYC Council passing of the Fair Chance Act

The Bronx Defenders applauds the New York City Council for passing the Fair Chance Act, a bill that will give New Yorkers with criminal records a fair chance to compete for jobs. The Fair Chance Act will prohibit all public and private employers in New York City from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until…

Bronx Defenders advocates present at NASW Addictions Institute conference

Yesterday, June 3, 2015, four Bronx Defenders advocates presented at the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter (NASW-NYC) 47th Annual Addictions Institute conference, “Marijuana and Emerging Drugs: Evolving Perceptions in Addictions.” Bronx Defenders Parent Advocate Dinah Ortiz and Social Worker Sarah Cremer presented on the presumptions and prejudice surrounding drug use by pregnant…

The Bronx Defenders wraps up its 2015 Defenders’ Academy Spring Training Program!

The Bronx Defenders wrapped up another session of our nationally renowned Defenders’ Academy Spring Training yesterday. Over six days, 74 participants from over a dozen different organizations – ranging from public defender offices to private firms to the U.S. military – came together at The Bronx Defenders Justice Campus to partake in an intensive trial skills program…

Justine Olderman testifies before City Council on the stigma of mental illness

Managing Director of the Criminal Defense Practice Justine Olderman presented oral testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Courts and Legal Services earlier this month, on May 12. While commending the efforts that the Mayor and City Council have made thus far to address the over-incarceration of the mentally ill, Justine’s testimony called attention…

The Bronx Defenders welcomes its 2015 summer interns!

We are very excited to welcome our 2015 summer interns! The Bronx Defenders internship program gives students the opportunity to experience and learn client-centered, holistic advocacy through hands-on work with our interdisciplinary advocates. This summer BxD is hosting a total of 70 interns, including 48 law school students from 20 different schools who will undergo comprehensive,…

The Bronx Defenders hosted its Third Annual Youth Justice Summit!

This week, The Bronx Defenders hosted its Third Annual Youth Justice Summit. Over two days at The Bronx Defenders Justice Campus, we brought together 104 youth from three schools and one youth program: Truman High School, Bronx School of Law, Government, and Justice, Bronx Lighthouse Academy, and the BronxConnect Program. The Bronx Defenders was joined by three of…

The Bronx Freedom Fund receives NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award!

The Bronx Freedom Fund has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 National Criminal Justice Association Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for the Northeast Region. Each year, NCJA honors five outstanding criminal justice programs at the National Forum on Criminal Justice. Award winners are selected by a panel of criminal justice experts to recognize innovative…

The Bronx Defenders to be honored by Child Welfare Organizing Project

Next Wednesday, May 13, Bronx Defenders Executive Director Robin Steinberg, on behalf of The Bronx Defenders, will accept the honor of “Courageous Social Activist” from the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP). As CWOP celebrates 20 Years of Activism next week, they will be honoring Dr. Terry Mizrahi, professor at Hunter School of Social Work and…

Chenye Castroni presented testimony before City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services

Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Social Worker Cheyne Castroni presented testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services earlier this week in support of Intro Number 770, which would require that the Department of Correction (DOC) establish a crisis intervention program. Cheyne shared his experiences employing his crisis intervention training…

Emily Galvin to present at Bennington College’s Incarceration in America conference

Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney Emily Galvin will be presenting at Bennington College’s second conference in its Incarceration in America series: Effecting Change, on May 15–16, 2015. The conference is part of Bennington’s growing Incarceration in America initiative, which includes curriculum, visiting speakers, theatrical events, think tanks, and retreats to develop public policy and political action in…

BxD’s Annual Youth Justice Summit coming up on May 19 and 20

The Bronx Defenders’ annual Youth Justice Summit brings together students from the Bronx to participate in youth-specific workshops facilitated by several of our organizational allies in New York City. The third annual Youth Justice Summit will take place at The Bronx Defenders’ Justice Campus over two days, May 19 – 20, 2015. This year’s partner organizations for…

BxD applauds the Mayor’s proposal to expand rent-regulated tenant protections

In a New York Daily News Exclusive released May 5, 2015, Mayor de Blasio unveiled his proposal for sweeping reforms to enhance rent laws that protect hardworking New York families living in the city’s one million rent-regulated apartments. The Mayor, together with housing advocates, intends to promote these reforms over the next six weeks in order to get…

The Bronx Defenders receives Community Organization Award from Brooklyn Law School

Earlier this week, Bronx Defenders Trial Chief Karen Smolar accepted the “Community Organization Award” on behalf of The Bronx Defenders from the Brooklyn Law School National Lawyer’s Guild Chapter and the Brooklyn Law School Public Service Office. The Community Organization Award is given to an institution or group which is dedicated to social justice and has…

Pro Bono props from The Bronx Defenders!

The Bronx Defenders works with a number of pro bono law firms on a range of matters, from isolated client case issues to ongoing projects. This support plays a crucial role in advancing our mission to combat the systemic challenges driving indigent people into the justice system, and to redefine public defense. To highlight just…

Bronx Defenders advocates present at National Association of Social Workers conference

Three Bronx Defenders advocates — Social Worker Sarah Knight, Parent Advocate Keston Jones, and Civil Legal Advocate Maria Monica Andia — will be presenting at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), New York City Chapter conference “Social Work in the City: Dreams and Realities of Life in New York” on April 8, 2015. The conference aims…

BxD and attorneys from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP collaborate on amicus brief

On behalf of 15 organizations supporting the rights, interests, and health of parents and pregnant women, The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice, along with attorneys at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, sought leave to file an amicus brief in the New York Appellate Division, First Department, last week. Our brief argues that the New York…

Lindsay Ferguson and Jenny Semmel to join panel discussion at John Jay College

Bronx Defenders Social Worker Lindsay Ferguson and Criminal Defense Attorney Jenny Semmel will join a panel discussion at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, entitled “Mass Incarceration and Its Mental Health Implications,” on Thursday, March 19, 2015. The panel will be chaired by Professor George Adreopoulous, Director of the Center for International Human Rights. Jenny and…

Kate Rubin and Scott Levy testified before City Council on community policing

Bronx Defenders Managing Director of the Civil Action Practice Kate Rubin, together with Fundamental Fairness Project Director Scott Levy, submitted written comments on behalf of The Bronx Defenders to New York City Council’s Committee on Public Safety on March 3, 2015, discussing key issues to consider in community policing. The testimony describes two critical lenses through which…