Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

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…

The Hill: Removing children from their parents doesn’t just happen at the border

“In 2017, 10 percent of children were removed for inadequate housing, a number comparable or exceeding removal rates for physical or sexual abuse respectively. In fact, since 2009, removals based on inadequate housing having been steadily increasing. According to Emma Ketteringham, managing director of the family defense practice at Bronx Defenders in New York, Child Protective Services…

Bustle: LGBTQ Asylum Seekers Need Protection From Our Government, Not Hostility

“While there’s celebration this Pride Month over how far LGBTQ rights have come, it has been a terrible year nationally for those most marginalized. The Trump administration has attacked health care access for trans folks, refused to protect queer youth, and comfortably rubbed shoulders with dictators who dehumanize LGBTQ people. Under this administration, one of the most urgent…

The City: No Green Space In Sight At Bronx Youth Detention Center

“Justice watchdogs said the youths at the facility don’t have time to waste in getting access to the full expanse of open space, which before the construction project included a garden and even chickens. Robyn Goldberg of the Bronx Defenders remembers her clients participating in the gardening program at Horizon before renovations began — and…

New York Times: Final Push to Legalize Pot Fails in New York

“Activists opposed passage of the alternative marijuana bills on Wednesday, calling them half-measures that would not address years of harm to communities of color. A coalition of public defenders including The Legal Aid Society and the Bronx Defenders said in a statement that the decriminalization plan fell “disastrously short.” Read the full article here

Bronx 12 News: Bronx Defenders lauded for sticking up for LGBTQ rights

“The Bronx Defenders’ LGBTQ Defense Project is a team of advocates who provide specialized representation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the community in legal matters. A man, who identified himself as John, says the project saved his life. He says he escaped from Nigeria and came to the U.S. because he faced…

City Limits: “And Justice For All” Means Barring ICE from NYS Courthouses

“The “Protect Our Courts Act,” sponsored by Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages and Senator Brad Hoylman, is one way New York state can counterbalance these devastating consequences, and we have one day left in NY’s legislative session to help protect our non-citizen community members. Thomas R. Decker, field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New…

The New York Times: Repeal the New York Loitering Law

“As lawyers at the Bronx Defenders, we see how the loitering law acts as an invitation to the police to abuse and target our clients for simply “walking while female” in certain neighborhoods. We have represented women who were arrested while walking to meet friends at a bar, waiting outside a store or walking home with diapers…

New York Law Journal: NY Policymakers Don’t Hold the NYPD Accountable

“New York policymakers have failed to hold the NYPD accountable for its numerous transgressions, despite the many horrific instances of police misconduct that have made local and national headlines for years. Even in cases where officers have repeatedly engaged in misconduct, and even while district attorneys keep lists of “bad cops” whose credibility is questionable,…

Filter Magazine: NYC Defenders: District Attorneys Breaking Their Promises to End Marijuana Prosecutions

“On June 11, New York City public defenders released data demonstrating that district attorneys are continuing to prosecute “low-level” marijuana offense cases⁠—even though they have publicly declared that they will discontinue doing so. Nearly 1,200 cases were brought in the first five months of 2019, according to their analysis. A group of collaborating organizations⁠—the Legal…

Crain’s New York Business: Spotlight on the Bronx

“We don’t just address the case, we look at the client and address all the drivers of their involvement with the legal system and the devastating consequences of that involvement,” says Justine Olderman, our Executive Director. “No matter the entry point we will be there at every point. These systems are super-intertwined.” See BxD featured here

Gothamist: How A Sealed Arrest Can Get You Arrested In New York

“’There are a lot of cases where people were arrested or faced prosecution, and they were innocent,’ said Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, from the Bronx Defenders. “We need to protect them, and we need to protect our values that people should be presumed innocent, and they shouldn’t face the consequences [of an allegation], unless it’s been…

Filter Magazine: Denial of Methadone Devastates Incarcerated People: What Hope?

“Rosie Russo, MSW, a social worker with the criminal defense practice of the Bronx Defenders, advocates for clients to receive methadone through the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, which provides healthcare at Rikers. But that doesn’t work for some clients, who get transported upstate where there is no treatment. ‘If we have a client who is…

Manhattan Neighborhood Network: Raising The Bar: Justice Reform Part 2

The Bronx Defenders often see our low-income clients forced to plead guilty when they cannot afford to pay cash bail. Karume James, our Criminal Defense attorney, shares the difficult decisions they need to make when our criminal legal system cares more about profits than lives. Watch the full video here

Urban Matters: When Child Welfare Intrusion Makes Reproductive Freedom and Illusion

Our Fallon Speaker, Family Defense attorney, and Erin Cloud co-wrote an op-ed advocating for rethinking prevention and childcare advocacy. “Change must happen now. We can start by rejecting the notion that maternal “risk” can be predicted by poverty or Child Protective Services data. In both the child protective and criminal legal systems, there is a…