Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

Truthout: Film the Police!

In August people filled the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, following black teenager Michael Brown’s death by police shooting in the city. Hundreds of protestors in New York and across the country gathered to show solidarity with protesters in St. Louis and to demand justice for Brown. There is no footage of Brown’s murder, and many…

Epoch Times: Brooklyn Charity Fund Seeks to Help People Too Poor to Afford Bail

NEW YORK—Public defender Josh Saunders has seen over and over again how his clients go to jail and suffer major life-altering consequences, when just $500 for bail would have prevented it. Because they could not afford to post bail, clients who hold jobs as fast-food workers, security guards, and home health aides have gotten fired…

Columbia Daily Spectator: Treatment over punishment

When I describe the need for treatment instead of punishment for the mentally ill and substance dependent, I split into two Loxleys. One inhabits the real world and lists reasons why he belongs in treatment facilities as opposed to correctional ones; another is trapped in a time-warp, re-experiencing the days and weeks he went missing,…

Law 360: 2nd Circ. Denies Union Intervention In Stop-And-Frisk Suits

Law360, New York (November 03, 2014, 2:56 PM ET) — The Second Circuit on Friday affirmed a district court decision denying a bid by New York City police unions to intervene in two class actions challenging the city’s stop-and-frisk policy, saying the motions were untimely and that the unions’ interests were too remote to warrant…

Thurston Talk: Thurston County Wins Grant from Center for Holistic Defense

The county’s Director of the Office of Assigned Counsel and a handful of staff members traveled to New York City last week thanks to a technical assistance grant from the Center for Holistic Defense. Thurston County’s Office of Assigned Counsel is one of only four teams in the nation to win a 2014-2015 technical assistance…

The Epoch Times: Help, Not Incarceration

NEW YORK—Anthony Cruz is a different man now that he has been locked up several times. Before serving his 10-year sentence in New York state prisons for manslaughter in the first degree he was diagnosed with adjustment disorder and depression, among other mental health conditions. Cruz spent a total of three years in solitary confinement,…

Le Nouvel Observateur: Dans L’enfer de Rikers Island

“Several were younger than me, I can’t imagine myself in their places. These youths are completely dehumanized, they are called ‘bing monsters.’ It’s terrible to see that it is considered normal to brutalize youths this young.” – Skylar Albertson, Assistant to the Director, The Bronx Defenders “We have paid bail for 140 people, who were…

Vice: How can we stop cops from beating and killing?

The multitude of black men killed by police led Maryam Monalisa Gharavi to call these last months “the Summer of Death” in her New Inquiry essay “The Killing Class.” In New York, police strangled grandfather Eric Garner. In Ohio, police gunned down John Crawford III in a Walmart while he was checking out an air…

NY City Lens: South Bronx Defender

The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney Porsha Shaf’on Venable was featured in a piece by NY City Lens, a news website produced by students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, talking about her passion for being a public defender and serving the Bronx community: Public defender Shaf’on Venable wants to make a difference in her…

The New Yorker: Getting Teen-agers out of Solitary at Rikers

In this week’s New Yorker, I wrote about a sixteen-year-old boy from the Bronx named Kalief Browder, who was accused of robbery and confined on Rikers Island. He stayed there for three years, waiting for a trial that never happened. For the majority of that time, he was in solitary confinement, locked in a cell…

Los Angeles Times: Op-Ed: Cruel and usual punishment in jails and prisons

The 8th Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment. Yet it happens every day in prisons across the country. Putting aside capital punishment, which I would argue is cruel and unusual on its face, Americans are ignoring a host of horrific conditions that inmates are subjected to. This is not only morally and constitutionally dangerous; it…

BxD’s Mary Anne Mendenhall on Hot 97 ‘Street Soldiers’ discussing the Adrian Peterson child abuse case

Yesterday, September 21, 2014, Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice Supervising Attorney Mary Anne Mendenhall joined in a compelling discussion on NFL player Adrian Peterson’s ongoing child abuse case, offering keen insights into the experiences and challenges faced by Bronx Defenders clients in Bronx Family Court. The episode of Hot 97’s “Street Soldiers” with host Lisa Evers brought…

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….