Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Our Projects

What Will Trump Do with Half a Million Backlogged Immigration Cases?

New Yorker writer Jonathan Blitzer visited BxD to speak with our client Christian Yarleque about his experience in immigration detention. Mr. Yarleque, a long-time New York resident with a green card, spent over a year and a half in ICE custody before being reunited with his wife and children. His story highlights the human cost…

BxD Hosts Annual Celebration of Families

Last Friday, June 2, we hosted our annual Celebration of Families, welcoming 21 of our clients’ families to The Bronx Defenders’ Justice Campus for an evening of celebration. Every year we hold this intimate gathering to honor the families we have served through our Family Defense Practice and mark June as National Reunification Month. After…

New York’s Mayor Junks Due Process

“As a former judge, I know firsthand the importance of having an attorney in court proceedings. Nonlawyers are rarely able to protect properly their own legal rights. Immigration proceedings are no less important or complicated than criminal ones. Yet immigrants who cannot afford an attorney are not provided one. New York City has sought to…

Judge Raps NYPD for ‘Gotcha’ Tactics in Civil Seizures

“Displeased by the New York City Police Department’s ‘troublesome’ litigation tactics, a state judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit seeking information on what happens to millions of ‘unclaimed’ dollars seized in civil forfeitures.” Courthouse News Service on the latest development in our lawsuit challenging lack of transparency in NYPD property seizures. Read the article here….

Non-Profit Offers Free Legal Representation, Services To North Tulsa Mothers

“Oklahoma is sending the highest recorded number of women to prison, but a new non-profit program based in north Tulsa is trying to buck that trend. The group, Still She Rises, is a team of attorneys that works specifically for low-income mothers in north Tulsa, representing them for free.” BxD’s latest project, Still She Rises,…

Holistic legal aid program Still She Rises begins taking clients in north Tulsa

“What we knew initially was that we wanted to create a holistic law defender law office that could represent women in the criminal justice system, recognizing that Oklahoma is the No. 1 state for incarceration for women.” – BxD Executive Director Robin Steinberg speaking with Tulsa World about our new project, Still She Rises, Tulsa….

A Critical Civil Rights Tool Is on the Chopping Block

“With threats to the balance of power in this country on the rise, protecting the class action is urgent. Courts can serve as a check against civil rights violations, but only if lawyers are able to bring cases that challenge government abuse.” Op-ed by BxD’s Jenn Rolnick Borchetta for The Marshall Project on new pro-business legislation that could…

New York Police Dept. Agrees to Curb Stop-and-Frisk Tactics

“We’re talking about stops and frisks and arrests in the sanctity of people’s homes that have had an incredible human toll on the relationship between the community and the police,” said Johanna Steinberg, director of the Impact Litigation Practice at The Bronx Defenders, which was also part of the lawsuit. “This will create accountability and…

City-Funded Lawyers Help More Detained Immigrants Win Cases

“Since its launch in 2013, the project has provided lawyers for 2,000 immigrants through a partnership with three public defender organizations: Bronx Defenders, the Legal Aid Society and Brooklyn Defender Services.” WNYC story on the impact of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first public defender program in the country for people in…

The Judges New York Elects Will Alter Lives

WNYC features an incredible victory from our Prostitution Conviction Vacatur Project, a project we launched in 2013 with the aim of identifying all our clients who have criminal convictions as a result of having been a victim of sex trafficking and working with them to vacate the conviction. Listen to the story here.

In the Bronx, justice is delayed & denied

Our Executive Director, Robin Steinberg, published the following piece in Daily News about our lawsuit challenging systemic court delay in the Bronx. “This situation constitutes nothing short of a constitutional crisis. People in the poorest borough in New York, with the highest percentage of black and Latino residents, are being forced to choose between returning to…

New York Times Editorial: A Nightmare Court, Worthy of Dickens

The New York Times Editorial Board weighs in on Trowbridge et al., v. Cuomo et al, our federal lawsuit challenging the epidemic of court delays in the Bronx Criminal Court. “This Dickensian nightmare is all too common in the Bronx, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in Federal District Court by the Bronx Defenders,…

Groundbreaking Federal Lawsuit Challenges Epidemic of Delay in Bronx Criminal Court

Contact: media@bronxdefenders.org Broken System Undermines Right to Speedy Trial and Due Process for Thousands of People Charged with Low-Level Offenses, Causing Significant Social and Economic Hardships NEW YORK (May 10, 2016)  – A federal class action lawsuit was filed today against Governor Andrew Cuomo and the administrators of New York State’s Unified Court System for…

Council Presses de Blasio Administration to Reduce Delays in Criminal Court

When Chidinma Ume, an assistant counsel in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, visited Queens recently, district attorney staff showed her around the courthouse, taking care to point out unused areas. “We gave her a tour of the courthouse, and how many locked doors that we have in courtrooms because we have…

New York Law Journal: We Need Speedy Trial Reform in City’s Criminal Courts

Too often in New York City, the maxim “justice delayed is justice denied” is no mere abstraction, but a reality that wears down defendants, dispirits victims and cheats taxpayers. This is particularly true in the city’s criminal court, where lower-level cases—misdemeanors and petty offenses—are adjudicated and where the gaze of policymakers and the press rarely…

Gotham Gazette: ‘Dangerousness’ Aspect of Cuomo’s Bail Plan Troubles Reformers

In his recently-released policy agenda for 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a plan to reform the state’s bail system. While it has not been fully fleshed out yet, Cuomo’s proposal dictates that judges would use a scientific assessment tool to determine an individual’s “risk to public safety” while setting bail, a proposal similar to one…

The Center for Holistic Defense Training and Technical Sites

The Center for Holistic Defense provides in-depth, hands-on support or technical assistance to individual offices and defender systems seeking concrete guidance in realizing the vision of holistic defense. Each year, The Center for Holistic Defense releases a Request for Proposals (RFP), soliciting applications from defender offices nationwide to receive six months of in-depth technical assistance….

The Bronx Defenders Launches the Robert P. Patterson, Jr. Mentoring Program

The Bronx Defenders is thrilled to launch the Robert P. Patterson, Jr. Mentoring Program, which will provide adult mentors to at-risk youth in the South Bronx. Using The Bronx Defenders’ collaborative team-based model, the program will broaden the mentee’s positive social network beyond a single mentor to include a team of dedicated advocates. Each mentee will…

NY1: Weighing Bronx DA Candidate’s Role in Controversial Rikers Case

Thursday night, NY1 reported that Darcel Clark, the leading candidate for Bronx District Attorney, played a previously undisclosed role in the case of Kalief Browder, the young man who committed suicide earlier this year after he was held at Rikers Island for three years without trial. However, as NY1’s Bobby Cuza reported, just how much…

Gothamist: How Will De Blasio’s Bail Reform Actually Work?

After news of Kalief Browder’s suicide, many advocates called on Mayor de Blasio to fix New York’s draconian and unfair bail system. On July 8th, Mayor de Blasio responded by announcing a new bail reform for New York City’s court systems. People charged with certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies would have the option of supervised…