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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

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

Open Minds: Interdisciplinary Legal Representation For Parents Involved In Abuse or Neglect Cases Resulted In 118 Fewer Days In Foster Care

“Interdisciplinary legal representation of parents facing child abuse or neglect child welfare cases, whose children entered foster care in New York City, resulted in 118 fewer days in foster care for the children affected. On average, a child who enters out-of-home care will spend 658 days in foster care through 48 months of petition filing…

Gay City News: LGBTQ Point Person Named at NYC Corrections

“Deborah Lolai, a criminal defense attorney and LGBTQ crime specialist with the Bronx Defenders, said during a City Council hearing on May 1 that “the majority of trans women who I represent who have been incarcerated have been in a male facility. Contrary to what has been testified to, they are not there by choice.”…

New York Amsterdam News: Inmates Deal with no AC in Bergen County Jail

“The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, and Brooklyn Defender Services are also speaking about the conditions at the Bergen County Jail. The organizations provide free legal representation through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project to detained immigrants with pending cases at the Varick Street Immigration Court. In a joint statement the organizations said…

North Jersey: Air conditioning repairs at Bergen County Jail continue as region braces for more hot days

“The continued air conditioning issues at the facility, which houses federal immigration detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have sparked outcry from some attorneys and immigration activists. The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, and the Bronx Defenders, organizations that provide free legal representation through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, said they have heard multiple…

Delete Your Account: Holistic Defense

“This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by immigration attorney Sophia Gurulé who works for the non-profit legal advocacy group, The Bronx Defenders. Sophia has also participated in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas for which she helped provide legal services to asylum-seeking women and children. Sophia describes how the Bronx Defenders, which represents over 30,000…

In These Times: We Can’t Stop the Horrors of Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Unless We Reckon With Obama’s Role

“The criminalization of aid workers stems from the profound dehumanization of immigrants themselves. Sophia E. Gurulé, a staff attorney for the immigration practice of the Bronx Defenders, represents indigent people detained during their deportation proceedings. She tells In These Times that in September of 2018 she witnessed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorney refer to a person…

WFUV: Around My Block: Community Organizer Sees Beauty of The Bronx

“Born and raised in the Bronx, Carmen Piñeiro now works as a community organizer to uplift her community. Her block is the entire Bronx community. Through events from lobby days to block parties at Bronx Defenders she creates lasting change in both legislation and human impact.” Listen to the whole podcast here

New York Daily News: Mumps quarantine extended in troubled ICE jail in Bergen County

“Amid deteriorating conditions at Bergen County Jail, we are appalled to learn about the indefinite extension of the mumps quarantine. We continue to be extremely concerned for the health and safety of our clients,” the New York Family Immigrant Unity Project said in a statement. The group provides public defenders to immigrants facing deportation.” Read…