Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

Associated Press: Public Housing Safety Policy Can Hit Whole Family

NEW YORK (AP) — Wanda Coleman sits in the New York City public housing apartment where she’s lived for 25 years, surrounded by empty rooms, bare walls and suitcases lined up by the front door. Any day now, she and her teen daughter will be evicted and have no other option than to go to…

Solitary Watch: Seven Days in Solitary

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. The American Civil Liberties Union released 26 reports alleging extensive abuses in Arizona’s prisons, including claims that individuals are being placed in solitary confinement because prison beds elsewhere are…

Village Voice: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island is Torture and “Inexcusably Extreme,” Bronx Defenders Say

Inmates are placed in solitary confinement at Rikers Island for “inexcusably extreme” amounts of time, a new report charges, “egregiously disproportionate” to the infractions they are alleged to have committed. While in solitary, it can be difficult for inmates to get access to the most basic of services, including food, showers, and phone time. That’s…

WNYC: In Solitary, Inmates Languish, Despair and Attempt Suicide: Report

The Otis Bantum Correctional Center has the largest solitary confinement unit on Rikers Island. It holds roughly 400 inmates, according to the Board of Correction. The Otis Bantum Correctional Center has the largest solitary confinement unit on Rikers Island. It holds roughly 400 inmates, according to the Board of Correction. (Brigid Bergin/WNYC) A new report…

Huffington Post: At Hearing On NYPD Force, The ‘5,000-Pound Elephant In The Room’ Is ‘Broken Windows’

NEW YORK — It took two hours during Monday’s packed City Council hearing with NYPD Commissioner William Bratton for someone to mention “broken windows.” It was council member Robert Cornegy (D-Brooklyn) who finally broached the subject, calling the controversial policing strategy the “5,000-pound elephant in the room.” Cornegy made the remark while questioning Bratton about…

The Christian Science Monitor: Retraining the NYPD after chokehold death

NEW YORK — The New York City Police Department outlined a new tactical training program on Monday as the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio continues its efforts to mend the fractured relationship between the nation’s largest police force and the city’s minority communities. Speaking before the New York City Council Monday morning, police Commissioner…

Associated Press: NYC immigrant public defender system breaks ground

NEW YORK (AP) — When Curtis Edmund first heard that a government official had come by his Bronx home looking for him, he couldn’t figure out why. But he agreed to a meeting early this year, and when he arrived, he was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Edmund, a longtime U.S….

The Intercept: America Without the Makeup: Artez Hurston’s Ferguson

A highlight of the challenging and important work that the Arch City Defenders, one of The Bronx Defenders Center for Holistic Defense Training and Technical Assistance Sites, is doing in Missouri: Artez Hurston is curled up on a concrete bench in a Missouri jail cell, fast asleep. He snoozes peacefully, despite the fact that just…

Times-Ledger: Wills’ bill seeks to protect jailed voters’ ballots

The Bronx Defenders Policy Organizer Kamau Butcher quoted in local news article about newly introduced legislation regarding voting while incarcerated. Although jail detainees are kept behind bars, City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) says their votes should not be. Wills introduced a bill at last week’s Council meeting outlining a process for the city Department of Correction…

Capital New York: Local Ferguson reverberation

Capital New York’s ‘Playbook’ highlights statement from Justine Olderman, Managing Director of The Bronx Defenders Criminal Practice as its “Quote of the Day” “The NYPD trots out this justification that they’re arresting people for minor infractions as a way of keeping violent crime down, and yet there is no evidence to show that there’s any correlation…

El Diario: Exigen que se termine el maltrato de reos en las cárceles de NY

Activistas y concejales municipales exigieron a viva voz reformas en las prisiones de la ciudad. El grupo se congregó el lunes en las escalinatas de la alcaldía en donde, de paso, se entregaron más detalles de un proyecto de ley que quiere que los Departamentos de Correccionales y de Salud publiquen información detallada sobre los…

New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Arrests for transit fare evasion surge in recent years, putting it among city’s top offenses leading to jail: Daily News analysis

Fare-beating arrests have increased 69% — from 14,681 in 2008 to 24,747 in 2013 — and are on pace to be slightly higher this year. Nearly 37,500 people have gotten sentences for the $2.50 crime that involved incarceration, including time-served, and 1,802 of those people were minors, according to data obtained by the Daily News….

NBC 4 New York: Low-Level Suspects Seriously Hurt

An investigation by NBC 4 New York’s partners at WNYC shows that it’s not uncommon for low-level arrests to spiral dangerously out of control – in some cases leaving people accused of minor offenses seriously hurt. Chris Glorioso reports. The Bronx Defenders Robin Steinberg comments on disproportionate use of force in low-level arrests in New York City. To…

WNYC: When ‘Broken Windows’ Leads to Busted Heads

WNYC’s Robert Lewis investigates the NYPD’s embrace of the “broken windows” theory in the wake of the recent death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner. The Bronx Defenders Executive Director Robin Steinberg is interviewed to shed light on these issues. Many across New York are still struggling to understand how Eric Garner — the Staten Island…

HuffPost Live: Kumar Rao interviewed on death of Eric Garner and police brutality

“We need to hold the police department as a whole accountable for the culture that allows for police officers to regularly profile people of color, target them, [and] use physical force against them.” The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney and Director of Strategic Initiatives Kumar Rao appeared on HuffPost Live last night, hosted by Ricky…

The New York Times: Ill and in Solitary at Rikers

Read The Bronx Defenders’ Skylar Albertson’s “Letter to Editor” published in The New York Times in response to their recent article on mental illness among inmates at Rikers Island: To the Editor: “Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail” (front page, July 14) paints a horrifying but accurate picture of the abuse that mentally ill…

Rise Magazine: ‘I Feel Good that I Never Gave Up!’: At National Reunification Month events, parents reflect on the long road home

For June’s National Reunification Month, organizations around the country celebrated the perseverance and resilience of parents reunifying with children from foster care and of the professionals who support them. On June 13, the family defense organization The Bronx Defenders hosted a reunification celebration, with food, face painting, performances, and families coming together to celebrate the…