Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

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…

Medium: What We Mean When We Say #AbolishBigData2019

“In whatever form it might take, we orient our future work toward the commitment that data must be used to measure systems, not people.” Rebecca Widom, our Chief Data Scientist, presented at the University of California Irvine’s two-day workshop “Datafication and Community Activism: Redrawing the Boundaries of Research” on how the important work of data…

New York Daily News: Public defenders call on city to invest more money in legal representation for immigrants facing deportation

The Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid Society, and Brooklyn Defender Services asked City Council for an increased budget in order to represent immigrants facing deportation at Varick Street. “The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services and Bronx Defenders will ask during a budget hearing for $16.6 million for the next fiscal year–an increase of $6.6 million.”…

The Appeal: What Happens Before Police Press “Record”?

“Even if the police are giving Miranda warnings right after they hit play, it doesn’t mean they haven’t already talked to our clients about the content of the interrogation before that. And that obviously raises questions about whether pre-interrogation conversations with the police undermine the force of the Miranda rights in the first place.” Emily…

New York Daily News: Everyone in immigration detention needs a lawyer: The nation should follow New York’s lead

“NYIFUP demonstrated the importance of publicly-funded deportation defense, raising the level of practice in the court and strengthening both fairness and efficiency. The Vera Institute of Justice evaluated NYIFUP, finding that 48% of immigrants succeeded in their cases, while unrepresented immigrants in the same court were successful only 4% of the time. NYIFUP also produced other benefits…

Investigative Post: A changing tide on license suspensions

The Bronx Defenders is part of a coalition with the Fines and Fees Justice Center and National Center for Law and Economic Justice to advocate for the end of suspensions over unpaid traffic fines. Traffic enforcement is disproportionately concentrated in low-income black and Latino neighborhoods, where residents often have difficulty paying tickets. New York is one of at least…

The Legislative Gazette: Wrongfully accused push for discovery reform

“We can no longer accept a bail system that creates and entrenches wealth and race-based disparities and feeds mass incarceration; a speedy trial law that allows cases to languish without a realistic opportunity to have one’s day in court; or a discovery law that deprives the accused of access to the most basic information about…

Lawfare Blog: New York Lawsuit Challenges Replacement of Immigration Court Hearings with Video Technology

“The suit alleges violations of class members’ First Amendment rights to access the courts and Fifth Amendment due process rights as well as violations of provisions of the INA guaranteeing fair hearings and access to counsel during removal proceedings and the Rehabilitation Act, which requires reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities.” Read the full article…

New York Daily News: Advocates for criminal justice reform accuse prosecutors, state task force of falling short on bail changes

“The advocates, including The Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Citizen Action of New York, said in a statement on Monday that they are looking for ‘meaningful bail reform that protects the presumption of innocence and maximizes pretrial liberty.” Read more here

Bronx Justice News: District Attorney Darcel Clark On Criminal Justice Reform Legislation: “The Question Is Not If But How We Implement”

“DA Clark has rightly acknowledged the inevitability of discovery, bail, and speedy trial reform in New York. But acknowledgement of inevitability is not enough. The time for delay and foot-dragging is over,” The Bronx Defenders said in a statement. “Bronx-residents–particularly those from communities of color–have waited long enough for a criminal legal system that respects…

The New Republic: The Crime of Parenting While Poor

“The whole existence of ACS lets us pretend that we’re protecting children.” Emma Ketteringham, our managing director of the Family Defense Practice, comments on how parents of color living in poverty are more likely to be overpoliced and criminalized just for parenting. Statistics show that parents living in poverty are unfairly scrutinized by the Administration…

Criminal (In)Justice: #98 Holistic Criminal Defense

James Anderson, a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, and one of the authors of “The Effects of Holistic Defense on Criminal Justice Outcomes,” which The Bronx Defenders is featured in, talks about a better method of providing criminal defense services through holistic defense. Hear the full podcast here

New York Law Journal: Treatment of Transgender People in Custody Must Improve

“In the five years I’ve worked as a defender, I have never met a transgender client who was not abused or harassed in some way by the NYPD during the process of their arrest.” Deb Lolai, our LGBTQ specialist, wrote an op-ed highlighting transphobic practice rampant in the NYPD. While in detention, trans and gender…