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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

Politico: Bail reformers face public relations hurdle

“We know that people who have open cases are always hesitant to share stories with the press for fear that notoriety or attention to their case will somehow prejudice them in their case,” said Scott Levy, chief policy counsel at the Bronx Defenders. “And now those fears are heightened because we see that people who…

Politico: Year begins with crime spike in NYC amid statewide bail debate

Eli Northrup of the Bronx Defenders, one of a small group of advocates who held signs supporting bail reform outside the mayor’s press conference, called it “kind of ridiculous” to argue “that a month of cherry-picked [stats] justifies a rollback of this needed reform.” “The mayor for some reason and the police commissioner seem hell-bent…

NYU News: Arguments Against New York’s Cash Bail Reforms Are Dated

“But bail has little effect on the likelihood of defendants returning to court. After the Bronx Defenders bailed out 150 people, 95% of their clients attended every court appearance, and almost 50% of the cases were dismissed entirely. The high return rate fundamentally undermines the supposed purpose of bail — incentivizing defendants to show up to their…

City and State: Advocates: Don’t make changes to the state’s new bail law

“A coalition of 60 criminal justice reform groups are sending an open letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders demanding that they don’t change the state’s newly enacted law limiting the use of cash bail. “Make no mistake,” the letter reads, in part, “retreating from bail reform less than a week after it goes…

Human Rights Watch: Groups Urge NY Lawmakers to Stand Firm on Bail Reform

January 1st was a historic day that ushered in pretrial reforms that will make New York fairer and more just. These reforms are a huge step forward towards eliminating the race- and wealth-based detention that has plagued New York for decades. The new laws will dramatically expand pretrial liberty and reduce jail populations and taxpayer…

Gotham Gazette: Real Criminal Justice Reform Requires Standing Up to Fear-Mongering

“Nearly five years ago, Jerome Murdough, an African-American Marine Corps veteran, died on Rikers Island due to a combination of injustice, inhumanity, and medical neglect. Afflicted by homelessness and mental illness, Murdough tragically passed away when temperatures in his cell reached 100 degrees – heat that was contraindicated with his medicine – and he baked…

New York Daily News: Poor and at risk of losing their kids: Moms and dads under ACS investigation deserve more legal help

“The City Council has proposed giving parents meaningful access to legal representation during an ACS investigation; like a suspect facing arrest, parents being investigated would have the chance to access legal help. Opponents of the bills claim access will make investigations more “adversarial,” even implying that children will be endangered. The first problem with this narrative is…

The City: Report Calls On New NYPD Top Cop Dermot Shea To Abolish Gang Database

“Public defenders and justice advocates are calling on new NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to abolish a policing tool he’s strongly defended: the department’s gang database. The “Erase the Database” campaign, to be launched Thursday, marks the latest in a yearslong effort to end collection of names and monitoring of the estimated 17,500 to 42,000 New Yorkers believed to be in…

Rise Magazine: What Parents Need to Know: School Reports to CPS, Communicating with the School, and Advocating for Your Child

An interview with The Bronx Defenders Here, Asia Piña and Crystal Baker-Burr, a social worker and an education attorney at The Bronx Defenders, warn parents that some schools may call in reports far more quickly than others. They suggest ways parents can navigate challenges and improve their relationship with their child’s school to avoid unnecessary…

The Chronicle of Social Change: More Services Or Better Legal Support For Accused Parents? New York Officials and Advocates Divided on What’s Best

“Some advocates who spoke to lawmakers last week rejected the notion that prevention programs were a panacea, and argued that lawmakers should focus instead on improving legal representation for parents. “We have to stop talking about preventive services,” testified Emma Ketteringham, a managing attorney for the legal aid group Bronx Defenders. “I’m not saying that’s…

Blackstar News: NY Transit And Police Accountability Advocates To Governor Cuomo: Invest In MTA Service Upgrades Not More MTA Police

“As New York City looks toward implementing historic criminal justice reforms, the addition of 500 cops to deal with what is clearly an economic and social justice issue is unnecessary, cruel and counterproductive,” said Scott Levy, Chief Policy Counsel at The Bronx Defenders. “Every day, The Bronx Defenders and other public defenders citywide witness the devastating…