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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

Insider: For advocates, New York’s new legal weed bill is a major victory against racist drug sentencing

“As a public defender, Eli Northrup and the organization he works for, the Bronx Defenders, represented thousands of young Black and brown community members facing life-altering marijuana possession charges. Northrup joined the fight to legalize marijuana in New York after witnessing countless lives destroyed over minor marijuana convictions while “mothers in the Upper East Side…

Call about a Shooting Sparks Drug Arrest in Bedford Park

“Eli Northrup, policy counsel for The Bronx Defenders, was quoted as saying, “Because there’s no regulated market, you would be subject to a criminal violation and a fine of up to $250, if you sell any amount under 3 ounces. Anything more than that is a misdemeanor.” Read the full article here

NY Amsterdam News: Police reforms locked in place, but nobody’s happy

“But Justine Olderman, executive director of The Bronx Defenders, deemed the final plan empty and toothless. “This weak and unimaginative plan will do nothing to address the NYPD’s endemic racism, nor will it reduce the footprint of policing in communities of color,” said Olderman. “Instead, the proposals funnel more funding towards failed policing strategies and…

Spectrum News1: New Marijuana Law Expunges Convictions for Many

“Some experts recommend those with certain immigration statuses who might benefit from expungement to talk to a lawyer. Eli Northrup with The Bronx Defenders says communities of color have been largely impacted by marijuana laws. “Even though, white people, people of color use [marijuana] at similar rates, people of color are the ones arrested, convicted…

Spectrum News 1: Judge Orders New York to Vaccinate Prison Inmates

“The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Brooklyn Defender Services brought forward the lawsuit and said this ruling confirmed the state’s decision to leave inmates out was “dangerous and discriminatory.” Read the full article here

Fox: In protocol breach, calls between Rikers Island inmates, lawyers recorded

“Powers said he and his colleagues requested a DOC audit after being contacted by concerned attorneys from the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit that represents clients in the justice system. The audit found hundreds of phone numbers that were supposed to be on the “do not record” list were actually recorded.” Read the full article here

New York Daily News: NYC Correction Department officials brushed off concerns about recorded jailhouse calls between inmates and legal advisers

“[We are calling] for an immediate end to all recording of phone calls made by people incarcerated in New York City jails,” the Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, New York County Defender Services, and Queens Defenders said in a joint statement.  Read the full article…

New York Daily News: Over 1,500 private phone calls between NYC jail inmates and legal advisers wrongly recorded, audits show

“Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to lawyers and legal counsel — and New York law says their communications with lawyers and others helping their cases is strictly confidential. The Correction Department first heard about the system screw up in December when several Bronx defenders flagged the issue, sources said. The department requested an audit…

The Intercept: “Dying of Cold”: ICE Detainees Freezing In Southern Prisons

“Sophia Elena Gurulé, immigration policy counsel at the Bronx Defenders, said it’s typical for such concerns to be ignored. “As recent as two days ago we heard complaints from our clients, people detained at Bergen County Jail, that there are ongoing problems with the heat,” she said. “The Bronx Defenders and the providers that issued that statement have been…

City & State: Can legalizing pot help communities heal?

“Despite roughly equal usage of marijuana among racial groups, data has shown that Black and Latino men get arrested and ticketed for marijuana offenses at eight times the rate of white men in New York City, even as enforcement has declined under Mayor Bill de Blasio. This policing disparity exists in communities throughout the state. And the existing data likely…

Gothamist: Cuomo And State Democrats Still At Odds Over How To Legalize Marijuana

“Eli Northrup, an attorney with the Bronx Defenders, said the governor’s proposal also doesn’t go far enough to remove criminal penalties for marijuana-related offenses and in some cases criminalizes them further. “Right now, it’s a misdemeanor to sell a small amount of marijuana to someone under the age of 21, but the governor’s proposal would…

Manhattan Times: New town halls focus on police reform

“The planned town halls will culminate in a report that will be submitted to the New York City Council in March to inform the Council’s consideration of the reform proposal. Co-sponsors involved in the series of forums include the Anti-Violence Project, The Audre Lorde Project, The Bronx Defenders, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York Civil…

MarketWatch: How soon will New York vaccinate its prisoners?

“On Thursday, Fischer’s organization, joined by the Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Bronx Defenders and Brooklyn Defender Services, filed a lawsuit at the state Supreme Court in the Bronx, demanding that vaccines be provided immediately to everyone behind bars. “Beyond politics and an animus toward incarcerated people,” Fischer said, “there’s…

DocumentedNY: Cuomo Approves COVID-19 Vaccine for Food Delivery and Restaurant Workers

“The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services and The Bronx Defenders are demanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement release immigrant detainees following a U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo put out on Jan. 20. The memo demands ICE prioritize national security, then border security, then public safety when embarking on enforcement actions, including when deciding which…

City & State: Why Cuomo’s pandemic policies keep getting challenged in court

“This is just the latest lawsuit against Cuomo that has prompted an abrupt shift in his administration’s pandemic policies. While the lawsuit – which was filed on behalf of inmates by groups including the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, Bronx Defenders and the Legal Aid Society – is the first class action over vaccinations in…

New York Daily News: N.Y. deprives city and state inmates of Covid-19 vaccine: suit

“Despite the fact that [the] petitioners face a heightened risk of contracting Covid-19 due to their congregate conditions of confinement, [state officials] have excluded them from access in their current vaccine distribution plan,” says the suit, which was brought by Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, the New York…