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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

CityLimits: City’s Courts Seen Lacking in Interpreters

“The situation is complicated when these organizations cannot pay for private simultaneous translation services and the lawyers are not bilingual. If a defendant is in custody, “you can’t talk to the person if you don’t know the language,” explains Alice Fontier, director of criminal practice at The Bronx Defenders. So for those who can’t make…

Talk Poverty: Coronavirus Could Cost Parents Custody of Kids in Foster Care

“In some states, like New York and California, there have been no official statewide orders cutting off all in-person visitation; instead agencies have been directed to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. But those on the ground say this is still leaving many parents without a voice in the decision-making process. Despite state-level guidance that…

Revolt: Lil Tjay partners with The Bronx Defenders to support inmates amidst pandemic

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income black and brown communities like the Bronx have been hit the hardest,” Bronx Defenders Executive Director Justine Olderman said in the release. “This is a community that depends heavily on public transportation, encompasses countless essential workers and is over criminalized into a legal system that crams people into jail…

Univision: “No están preparados para la pandemia”: hispano habla de su experiencia en un centro de detención de ICE

“El peruano Carlos Usategui, quien estuvo detenido dos meses en el Orange County Correctional Facility, en Nueva York, asegura que en ese centro penitenciario no se están tomando en serio la crisis desatada por el coronavirus, pues no tienen mascarillas, guantes ni desinfectantes disponibles y los presos están expuestos peligrosamente al virus.” Watch the full…

The Nation: In ICE Detention, Forced to Pay for Soap

“At this point, the coronavirus has infected hundreds of thousands of Americans and killed over 50,000. One of the CDC’s most basic guidelines for avoiding COVID-19 is, of course, frequently washing one’s hands. Robyn Barnard, an asylum attorney in Southern California, says that her client contacted her and asked her to put money in his…

The Chronicle of Social Change: Parents’ Foster Care Placement Challenges Need Quick Resolutions, New York Appeals Court Rules

“During testimony in Albany in November, Emma Ketteringham, managing attorney of Bronx Defenders’ Family Defense Practice said the problems include too few judges and a lack of evening and weekend courtroom hours. “As a result, families are separated needlessly and kept separated for longer than necessary,” she told lawmakers. Pandemic-related court closures have exacerbated those delays for the foreseeable…

Legislative Gazette: Budget includes compromise on bail reform and judicial discretion

“Now, discovery laws have been extended to 20 calendar days and allowed some information to be non-discoverable. “The [amendments to] discovery provisions will also deny people facing criminal charges access to crucial and potentially exculpatory witness information. These are not small tweaks; they have bludgeoned reform just as it was taking root,” said the Bronx…

NY1: Protesters Demand Release of Queensboro Correctional Facility Prisoners

“Advocates held a rally outside Queensboro Correctional Facility demanding the release all state prisoners who are within one year of their release date. The protest, which included former inmates, prison health experts and advocacy organizations, is part of a larger call to release prisoners in order to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Read the…

NY1: ICE obligado a liberar 5 inmigrantes en riesgo de contraer Covid-19

“En su decisión, la magistrada indicó que como no se aseguran los protocolos de higiene y salud en medio de la pandemia, los inmigrantes son expuestos a un alto riesgo de enfermarse gravemente o morir. Lo cual, dijo, equivale a una pena o castigo extremo bajo las normas del debido proceso. La demanda fue presentada…

Amsterdam News: Five medically vulnerable immigrants are released from ICE detention, but thousands still detained during pandemic

“Many attorneys and legal offices continue demanding that all immigrants be released. Releasing people from immigration detention can protect their lives, the lives of staff, and public health. A growing number of courts around the country have ordered the immediate release of medically vulnerable individuals. Courts are recognizing both the enormous risk of harm that…

New York Daily News: ‘I just want to hug my family and be able to grieve;’ ‘I have so much that I need to catch up on;’ ‘I miss the old normal.’ New Yorkers look ahead to end of coronavirus quarantine

“When this is over, I’ll go to Lupita’s Restaurant around the corner from The Bronx Defenders, order one of every taco, then bring it back to a conference room where I’ll brainstorm with my team and relish the banter that’s impossible on a screen.” Read the full article here

Law360: ‘No Release’ Injunction In NY Could Be A Blueprint Elsewhere

“A court decision blocking the New York field office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from using its so-called “no release” policy for certain people detained before a hearing is being hailed by immigrant advocates as a key victory that could set an important standard for other parts of the country. U.S. District Judge Judge…