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The Bronx Defenders In the News

The Bronx Defenders Announced as New York Law Journal Impact Awards Winner

As part of the New York Law Journal’s 125th anniversary celebration, the Law Journal has created the Impact Award to honor individuals, groups or projects that have had significant and lasting impact on the legal community in New York. The following, in no particular order, are the winners of the 2013 Impact Award. The honorees…

City Limits: False Abuse Reports Trouble Child Welfare Advocates

In some neighborhoods in this city, it’s not uncommon for people to file an allegation of child abuse or neglect to settle a grudge. In a meeting with City Limits, lawyers and social workers from The Bronx Defenders, which represents parents with child welfare cases in the Bronx, described a string of such cases: a…

New York Law Journal: Pilot Program to Represent Detainees Facing Deportation

Aiming to foster the rights of immigrants and to keep their families together, two legal services organizations, the Bronx Defenders and Brooklyn Defender Services, have been picked for a unique pilot project to represent indigent detainees facing deportation. The two organizations will form the New York Immigrant Defenders, which will take on 166 cases in…

Rise Magazine: To Speak or Not to Speak

Brenda Zubay and Lisa Beneventano, Social Workers in The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice, were interviewed in the Fall 2013 issue of Rise Magazine. In the article, they discuss the benefits and dangers of revealing past trauma in court, and explain the importance of parents taking control of their story before the court takes control…

Bail or Jail: Watch Justine Olderman discuss the need for bail reform

Richard French speaks with the Chief Judge of New York State, Jonathan Lippman and with Justine Olderman of The Bronx Defenders about the current state of the jail and bail system in New York State. Justine Olderman: “We can say, ideally, it is about the presumption of innocence; it’s about the right to trial; it’s…

MSNBC: Rethinking the ‘war on drugs’

Monday saw two major legal developments in the so-called “war on drugs.” First, a judge in New York City ruled that the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy violated the Constitution in targeting a disproportionate number of blacks and Hispanics. Then, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the end of mandatory federal prison sentences for low-level, non-violent drug…

Memphis Business Journal: Shelby County Public Defenders win grant for training

As part of a Training & Technical Assistance Grant earlier this year, the Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender receive training in techniques from The Bronx Defenders in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation. Shelby County was one of six public defender offices chosen to receive the grant. Public defenders in Atlanta,…

The New York Times: The Girls Who Haven’t Come Home

The last time they took Vernice Hill’s children away, the time they didn’t give them all back, was the afternoon she went to see her neighbor. Ms. Hill lives in a hulking building on East 188th Street, in a frayed neighborhood in the Bronx. It was May 1, 2005. Inside her apartment, her two little…

The Champion: Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Our Executive Director Robin Steinberg wrote an article on racial disparities in the criminal justice system that was featured in The Champion. The article draws from discussions at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ conference report, Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. An excerpt…

City & State NY – Groups Target Koo and Rivera On Community Safety Act

In advance of an expected City Council vote on the proposed Community Safety Act next week, constituents and community groups will be holding actions in the districts of Council Members Peter Koo and Joel Rivera, calling on them to support the bills to ban racial profiling and establish an Inspector General for the New York…

The New Yorker: Annals of Law: Rights and Wrongs

A Judge Takes on Stop & Frisk.  Article by Jeffrey Toobin. Excerpt: “…Bradley took the ticket to the offices of the Bronx Defenders, who have pioneered what they call “holistic defense,” a method based on recognizing that, for criminal defendants like Bradley, deportation, eviction, or the loss of parental rights may be more ruinous than conviction…

Gotham Schools: Community members carve out a role in school guards’ training

When Lynn Sanchez, a Bronx parent activist, challenged police and education officials to address persistent school climate problems during a public forum on school safety last year, she did not think they would say yes. And yet just months later, Sanchez was sitting with safety agents during one of their training sessions — which, for…

The Take Away: Searching for Justice in the South Bronx

As the executive director of the Bronx Defenders, a public defense and legal services organization, Robin Steinberg has spent her career demanding justice for the residents of the poorest Congressional district in the nation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark Supreme Court case that requires states to provide attorneys…

New York Times: Waiting and Waiting…for Justice

LATE in the summer of 2011, police officers in New York City arrested a full-time college student named Luis in the lobby of his apartment building in the Bronx and charged him with two misdemeanor offenses, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. Luis, though, wasn’t guilty of either — a fact supported by a video…

New York Times: In Misdemeanor Cases, Long Waits for Elusive Trials

Francisco Zapata keeps a copy of the Constitution on his cellphone. So when the police stopped, frisked and charged him with misdemeanor marijuana possession, he wanted what that cellphone document promised. “I was under the assumption,” he said, “that if I kept going back to court, eventually I would get my day in court.” But…