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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

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…

Law360: Immigration Courts’ Video Evolution Stirs Due Process Fears

“While recent statistics might seem to suggest that VTC has helped tackle the backlog of immigration cases, there are other factors that have likely contributed to the jump in completed cases, according to Sarah Deri Oshiro, managing director of the immigration practice at the Bronx Defenders, which was a plaintiff in the lawsuit over the…

New York Magazine: There Wil Be No Turning Back on Facial Recognition – It’s not perfect yet, but it’s already changing the world

“If Larry Griffin II’s story typifies a best-case use of facial recognition for law enforcement, Kaitlin Jackson, a public defense attorney with the Bronx Defenders, tells me one that exposes its drawbacks. Jackson represented a man who’d been arrested for the theft of socks from a T.J. Maxx store in February 2018, supposedly after brandishing a…

The Indypendent: Four New Jails For $10 Billion: Now is the Time For NYC to Invest in Communities Not Cages

“Some former members of the Close Rikers movement such as the Bronx Defenders and VOCAL-NY pulled out because they felt that the plan lacked any real investment in new community-based services such as affordable housing and community-based mental health programs. They also objected to spending money on building institutions that they view as fundamentally harmful.”…

City & State: The 2019 Nonprofit Power 100

“Justine Olderman has worked her way up at The Bronx Defenders since joining as a staff attorney in 2000. She served as managing attorney of the criminal defense practice – where she oversaw an expansion that more than doubled the practice’s caseload – before becoming the public defender nonprofit’s first managing director. Now as executive…

The Riverdale Press: Want to legalize marijuana? It must be fair

“Those neighborhoods have been targeted and have suffered in the war on marijuana,” said Eli Northrup, a policy counsel for Bronx Defenders, a non-profit that provides criminal defense from its base in Melrose. “If and when marijuana becomes legal, we need to repair those communities.” “Even small marijuana convictions can prevent people from getting public…

New York Daily News: Advocates call on Cuomo to keep an eye on prosecutors out to undermine criminal justice reforms

“Alice Fontier, head of criminal defense practice for The Bronx Defenders, said there is concern that law enforcement is seeking to perpetuate high incarceration rates of minorities and maintain the status quo, adding that the tactics being taught to prosecutors are “against the spirit of the law.” “All of these sort of fear-mongering tactics and…

Human Rights Watch: 128 Rights Groups Urge New York Legislature to Implement Pretrial Reforms

“Despite the fact that a majority of New Yorkers and State elected officials support the new pretrial laws, prosecutors continue to engage in a coordinated strategy to subvert the pretrial reforms before they have even gone into effect by spreading fear and misinformation. The new bail, discovery and speedy trial laws were carefully and deliberately crafted over the course…

Amsterdam News: Report: Solitary confinement increased in New York

“The Bronx Defenders want the Board of Corrections to stop waiting to initiate the rule-making process so New Yorkers can weigh in because it’s a crisis. “Hundreds of people are held in solitary confinement in our city’s jails every year,” read the Bronx Defenders’ statement. “The torturous conditions devastate the people we serve and the…

News12: New law to eliminate cash bail, release prisoners

“A new state law goes into effect in January that will eliminate cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. New York City has identified nearly 900 people who are currently behind bars awaiting trial that can apply to have their bail lifted and be freed.” Watch the full video here

New York Daily News: Three strikes but still not out: Inside the Bronx ‘Opioid Court’ where addicts get extra swings at recovery

“Avery McNeil, the alternatives to incarceration specialist at the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit legal organization, praised OAR for setting up a pathway that allows people to get addiction treatment without first copping to a crime that could stay on their permanent record regardless of their recovery. “That’s really important for our clients who are facing employment,…

Law360: Closing Rikers May Pave New Path For Mentally Ill Inmates

“New York City’s move to close the notorious prison Rikers Island could be an important step in making sure people suffering from mental illnesses, who make up half of America’s incarcerated population of 2.3 million, aren’t lost in the criminal justice system, according to speakers at an event on the problems of mass incarceration… Roberts…

Filter Magazine: What Harm Reductionists Think About Sesame Street’s Addiction Representation

“Dinah Ortiz, a parent advocate supervisor at The Bronx Defenders and a Filter contributor, is concerned that Sesame Street’s focus on the disease model of addiction, and not drug use more generally—which ranges from from abstinence to chaotic and out of control—could add fuel to the fire of child-parent separations that target parents of color. “Sesame Street…

NY1: Advocates Rally to Repeal 50A Law

The Police Commissioner supports making such records public as long as disciplinary hearings are completed and wrongdoing is confirmed. “But we also know that the police officers who have a history of compliant continue to police these communities. They continue to patrol these streets. But, the public has been deprived from getting any information about…