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The Bronx Defenders In the News

Syracuse.com: NY’s hard-core traffic fines hit the poor hardest, Syracuse lawmaker says

“The problem is particularly troubling in Syracuse, a city with the nation’s highest rate of concentrated poverty among blacks and Hispanics, Hunter said. The rate of driver’s with suspended licenses for unpaid traffic tickets in one poor neighborhood in Syracuse is more than twice the statewide average, according to the Driven by Justice Coalition, a coalition of criminal…

WBFO: State effort to eliminate driver’s license suspensions gets local support

“According to the Driven by Justice Coalition, over 1.6 million suspensions due to traffic debt were issued to New Yorker’s over a 28-month span. Kennedy said the suspensions are not equitable and poor people are punished for being poor. “Driver’s license suspension rates are nearly nine times higher in the ten poorest communities across New…

NYN Media: New York City Council boosts funding to support immigrants facing deportation

“The New York City Council announced $16.6 million in funding for the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project for this coming fiscal year. The project received a boost of $5 million compared with last year, which will go toward increasing the project’s reach to provide free legal services to immigrants facing deportation. The Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid Society,…

Patch: Corey Johnson And Carlos Menchaca Announce A $16.6 Million Allocation To Fund The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project

“City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Committee on Immigration Chair Carlos Menchaca announced today that the City Council is dedicating $16.6 million of this year’s budget to fund and expand the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the nation’s first public defender system for detained immigrants facing deportation. NYIFUP, funded by the City Council,…

El Diario: Concejo Municipal asigna $16 millones para dar ayuda legal gratis a inmigrantes

“Los operativos de los agentes del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) siguen aumentando en todo el país, y la meta es cumplir con el objetivo de la Administración Trump, de arrestar y deportar el mayor número posible de indocumentados. Y a pesar de ser una ‘ciudad santuario’, la Gran Manzana no ha escapado a las acciones de ‘La Migra’, y…

The Appeal: Parents Threatened With Losing Children Over Cannabis Use

“Ms. D, a mother of two living in the Bronx, smoked cannabis occasionally. She never smoked in front of her children, and her casual use never affected her ability to parent. So when a child protective investigator asked her if she smoked, Ms. D was forthcoming. After all, her children were healthy, happy, and well…

Law360: Challenge To NYPD’s Use of Sealed Records Gets Go-Ahead

“A New York judge has certified a class of individuals who contend the New York City Police Department has unlawfully used information contained in their sealed arrest records when investigating other cases. Justice Alexander M. Tisch of the New York Supreme Court for New York County determined Thursday that clients of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton…

The Appeal: What’s Not To Love About The NYPD Slowdown?

“The Daily Appeal spoke to Alice Fontier, the managing director of the criminal defense practice at The Bronx Defenders. I asked Fontier about how the slowdown has played out in criminal court in the Bronx, one of the most heavily policed counties in the country. Over the last few months, Fontier said, there had been at…

The Champion: Challenging Facial Recognition Software in Criminal Court

Federal agencies and high profile investigations are not the only places where facial recognition software (“FRS”) is being used. State and local law enforcement agencies employ FRS in investigations that range from serious to relatively mundane. FRS has been used to pinpoint suspects in cases as routine as drug sales, petty theft, robbery, and identity theft….

New York Times: A Child Bumps Her Head. What Happens Next Depends on Race

“When a child experiences a mild head injury and a parent seeks medical attention, what happens next in New York City seems to depend on the ZIP code and the color of the parent’s skin. In April, the actress Jenny Mollen, wife of the actor Jason Biggs and resident of Manhattan’s affluent West Village, announced on…

The Crime Report: How Do Prosecutors (and the Rest of Us) Get Sentencing So Wrong?

“And all of these players are buffeted simultaneously by external environmental factors: caseloads rise, budgets fall, treatment programs close, spasmodic media pressure ratchets up, options narrow. Sentences may be driven by prosecutors, but they are also influenced by defenders. For example, a recent study makes clear that the Bronx Defenders’ self-consciously “holistic” approach managed to significantly bend…

The Appeal: ‘Is This The Guy?’

“The NYPD also claimed that it was exempt from disclosing information about its facial recognition technology because doing so could imperil future investigations. It argued that because the department is only a user—not the creator—of the software, any disclosure would violate state protections of its partner’s trade secrets. Alice Fontier, The Bronx Defenders’s Criminal Defense…

New York Times: ‘It’s Like an Automatic Deportation if You Don’t Have a Lawyer’

“Spurred on by these findings, Judge Katzmann’s study group decided to create the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project in 2013, with the goal of creating a pilot program for universal representation that could eventually be expanded to represent every detained immigrant with a hearing at the Varick Street Immigration Court. The City Council funded the pilot…

BronxNet News: Today’s Verdict – ADP

Our Elizabeth Williams and Robyn Goldberg are interviewed about our Adolescent Defense Project and their work in it defending minors. Watch the full interview starting at 11:45 here

New York Women’s Foundation: The Justice Fund Grantee Partners

“As public defenders representing more than 20,000 people a year in the criminal legal system, we understand the importance of closing Rikers,” said Justine Olderman, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders. “But closing Rikers will not, by itself, result in a fairer pre-trial system. With support from the New York Women’s Foundation, we are harnessing…

Santa Barbara Independent: Defending Santa Barbara’s Most Vulnerable

“Holistic Defense is making a tangible difference in the lives of clients and changing the way they perceive the criminal justice system. These were some of the goals in mind when FSA and OPD applied for a funding grant in 2017 to launch the pilot program. The program is one of only a handful in…

BronxNet: The Bronx Defenders’ Annual Block Party

Reporter Ashley Tiffaney visits The Bronx Defenders’ Annual Community Block Party in the Melrose section of the Bronx. A day of performances, music, pony rides and more in celebration of how low-income homes are represented in the justice system. See the full video here