Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

The case for Spanish-speaking courts in places like the Bronx—and all over the US

“Simply put, Spanish-speaking Americans rarely receive their constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial. ‘If we’re trying to have a fair justice system, then we need to make the justice system accessible to the constituents and make it reflect the community,’ Morales says.” In this interview with Quartz, Jodi Morales-Vargas, an attorney in our…

Sarah Deri Oshiro, managing director of our Immigration Practice speaks with NY1 Noticias about the urgent need for ICE to stop targeting New Yorkers who are seeking due process and for the New York State court system to prohibit ICE from entering our courthouses. Watch the interview here.

NYPD Agrees To New Rules Limiting Its Seizures of New Yorkers’ Property

“The settlement has far-reaching reforms that will require the NYPD and the Bronx DA to make significant changes to the way they handle these processes. When someone is arrested, they’re supposed to get a voucher indicating what property has been taken. That wasn’t happening on a regular basis, and now as part of this settlement,…

SNAP Benefits Are Important to Young People in the United States

“The proposed change is ill-informed, overly bureaucratic, and further punishes and stigmatizes low-income children, young people, and families who rely on this crucial nutrition assistance. Working with thousands in the Bronx community every year, we know how difficult it already is to qualify for and maintain SNAP benefits, due to highly restrictive eligibility requirements. These…

Accord Struck in Suit Over NYPD Withholding of Seized Property

“The New York City government has reached a settlement with plaintiffs attorneys in a suit challenging the police department’s retention of seized cash and property in criminal cases in which the city has agreed to implement a set of reforms.” The New York Law Journal covers our recent settlement in Encarnacion v. City of New…

NYPD Ordered To Make Retrieving Phones, Cash After Arrests Easier

“This dysfunctional and unconstitutional practice disproportionately harms the low-income communities that are targeted by broken windows policing and least able to afford these costly consequences.” Niji Jain, an attorney in our Impact Litigation Practice discusses how our settlement in Encarnacion v. City of New York will ensure that New Yorkers who have been arrested will no longer…

amNewYork: Justine Olderman is defending the Bronx

“Our entire model is designed around the intersection of people’s involvement in various justice systems. Let’s say you were held in on bail. What are the implications in terms of your housing, your employment, your custody of your children, your immigration status? We do all of it. We follow the client wherever the client goes.”…

WNYC: Racial Disparities Persist in Who’s Arrested for Pot Possession

“We know that these [marijuana] arrests are really harmful and destructive to our clients, their families and their communities,” said Scott Levy, Special Counsel to BxD’s Criminal Defense Practice, noting that most of his clients are black and Latino males. “A single arrest for this can disrupt a job, a living situation, child care arrangements….

The Daily Record: County’s grant rejection generates criticism

“Holistic lawyers and social workers don’t intimidate child witnesses, but work collaboratively with parents to strengthen and stabilize their families. They help inform the child welfare investigative process, not impede it.” Emma Ketteringham, Managing Director of the Family Defense Practice, wrote a joint letter to the editor of The Daily Record responding to Monroe County’s…

HuffPost: Our Government’s Latest Betrayal

“The end of DACA and TPS violates the trust that about one million people placed in our Government and principles of fundamental fairness. TPS and DACA holders have lived, many of them with legal authorization, in our country for decades, some of them since they were months old. They have opened businesses, paid taxes, formed…

Letter to Editor on Foster Care and Opioids

“Children harmed by their parents should of course be protected. But any proposed approach to the opioid crisis that defaults to sending children to foster care once the specter of drug use is raised, and that excludes their parents, is deeply flawed.” Emma Ketteringham, Managing Director of BxD’s Family Defense Practice, responds to an editorial…

Olderman Steps Into Executive Director Position for Bronx Defenders

The New York Law Journal covers The Bronx Defenders’ exciting announcement that Justine Olderman, an experienced attorney with 17 years at the organization and a leader in the field of public defense, has been selected to take the helm as our Executive Director. “From staff attorney to managing director, I have been privileged to work…

Pass the (Right) Right To Know Act

“The questions confronting the Committee and Council are simple: Should civilians be informed of their right to privacy when there is no legal basis to search them? And should civilians who have routine interactions with the police, whether pulled over while driving or questioned as victims or witnesses, be entitled to know who they are…

BxD’s Scott Levy & Sarah Deri Oshiro speaks with BronxTalk

Scott Levy, Special Counsel to the Criminal Defense Practice and Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director of the Immigration Practice sit down and speak with BronxTalk. Scott Levy discusses how to bring meaningful change to New York’s bail system: “The issue is that our bail statute is not used properly right now…If we started actually using…

The Place Where One Was Born Cannot Determine Our Access to Courts

Powerful HuffPost op-ed by Luis Mancheno, an immigration defense attorney at The Bronx Defenders about ICE’s intrusive presence in the courts depriving people access to due process: “ICE needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped today…It is imperative that Chief Judge Janet DiFiore takes all the necessary steps to stop federal immigration…

BxD’s Luis Mancheno speaks with NY1 Noticias’ Pura Política

Luis Mancheno, an immigration defense attorney at The Bronx Defenders speaks with NY1 Noticias’ Pura Política about the harmful impacts of ending Temporary Protected Status for Nicaraguans and Hondurans as well as the Diversity Visa Lottery. To watch the interview, click here.

A New York courtroom gave every detained immigrant a lawyer. The results were staggering.

In this investigation, Vox highlights the profound impact the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) has on preventing immigrants facing deportation from being separated from their families and community. The Bronx Defenders proudly serves as one of three institutional providers of free representation to detained immigrants in removal proceedings at the Varick Street Immigration…

The truth is, ‘broken windows’ policing incentivizes lies

“The lies officers tell to justify the unlawful stops, searches and questioning are a natural byproduct of this policing strategy. Once we see the root of the problem, the answer becomes obvious: The NYPD leadership needs to stop holding on to the myth that ‘broken windows’ policing is necessary to keep New York City safe…

When Race Tips the Scales in Plea Bargaining

“If there are racial disparities in pleas in misdemeanor cases that lead to worse punishment of black people, it means a significant proportion of our criminal justice system is meting out punishment in a racially-biased manner.” —BxD’s Jenn Rolnick Borchetta and Alice Fontier on the stark racial disparities in plea bargaining that have devastating impacts…

Bad Bail Practices and Immigration Policy Led To My Client’s Death At Rikers

Powerful op-ed by BxD’s Anisha Gupta for The Marshall Project on the death of her client Selmin Feratovic, who had been incarcerated for almost seven months on Rikers Island but had not been convicted of a single crime: “Selmin was killed by a system that overcharged him, incarcerated him, ignored him, and ultimately failed to protect…