Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Publications

When the NYPD Keeps Your Property: Frequently Asked Questions About Civil Forfeiture

The NYPD regularly seizes cash, cellphones, cars, and other property during arrests. Property that is not contraband should be returned to its rightful owner when the case is dismissed or terminated unless the district attorney’s office can establish that the valuables are still needed as evidence for an appeal or another proceeding. In practice, something…

The Bronx Defenders’ Perspective on Police Body-Worn Cameras

The essence of any police body-worn camera program should be the need for increased police accountability.  Economically marginalized communities, particularly communities of color, have long been over-policed, subjecting their residents to degrees of state oversight and intervention that would never be tolerated in suburban communities.  Examples of this have included so-called “broken windows policing,” recently discredited…

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…

No One in NYC Should Be Forced to Make These Choices

Karume James, a staff attorney in our Criminal Defense Practice, published the following piece in The Huffington Post about the need for reduced fare MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers and the impact such a program would have on our clients. “Among the many “broken windows” cases we get at The Bronx Defenders, I’ve always found arrests for…

Let Them Work

Emily Galvin, an attorney in our Criminal Defense Practice, published the following piece in Slate about the need to rethink prison employment.  Most people are at least intuitively aware of the connection between poverty and prison. As Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has said, too often the opposite of poverty…

NYPD: Stop Evicting Families

Christa Douaihy, supervising attorney in our Civil Action Practice, published the following piece in The Huffington Post about the NYPD’s use of obscure laws to facilitate the eviction of families from their homes without basic fairness or due process.  The Movement for Black Lives has, among many things, created a renewed sense of urgency for policy makers to address our…

The Problem with NYC’s Bail Reform

Our Executive Director, Robin Steinberg, published the following piece in The Marshall Project about the city’s proposal to reform the bail system: “Yesterday, the city unveiled a plan to largely eliminate cash bail for New Yorkers charged with low-level or nonviolent crimes. This long overdue step has the potential to reshape pretrial detention in New York City…

The Bronx Defenders releases its report “Voices From the Box: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 12, 2014 Contact: Skylar Albertson, The Bronx Defenders, (347) 842-1215, SkylarA@bronxdefenders.org Voices From the Box: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island New York – The Bronx Defenders released a report summarizing the experiences of 59 current and former clients who were subjected to extreme isolation in solitary confinement at Rikers Island. The…

The Bronx Defenders releases updated Consequences of Criminal Proceedings in New York State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 11, 2014 Contact: Molly Kovel, The Bronx Defenders, 718-508-3421 or MollyK@bronxdefenders.org THE CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS IN NEW YORK STATE, A Comprehensively Updated Guide for Criminal Defense Attorneys, Civil Legal Services Attorneys, and Other Reentry Advocates New York – Today, The Bronx Defenders released an expansive update to our landmark manual detailing…

Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Robin Steinberg, Executive Director, and Marika Meis, Legal Director, attended a conference and contributed to a sweeping report coordinated by the Brennan Center and NACDL regarding racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system. According to NACDL, the report summarizes the “candid, sometimes painful panel discussions, and identifies a panoply of remedies that may advance…

The Champion: Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Our Executive Director Robin Steinberg wrote an article on racial disparities in the criminal justice system that was featured in The Champion. The article draws from discussions at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ conference report, Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. An excerpt…

No Day in Court – a New Report by The Bronx Defenders

The report, No Day in Court, finds that manufactured marijuana arrests, prosecutorial delay, and an overwhelmed court system all conspire against justice in the Bronx. New York – Today, The Bronx Defenders released a report that shows that people who are unconstitutionally arrested for marijuana possession every year are consistently denied meaningful access to justice in…

Kate Rubin in Huffington Post’s The Blog on “Bloomberg’s Rockefeller Legacy’

February 21, 2013 Mayor Bloomberg came out swinging at his final State of the City address last Thursday, recapping his achievements and defending his policy decisions. About the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk program he said, “We have a responsibility to conduct them, and as long as I am mayor, we will not shirk from that responsibility.”…

Kumar Rao in Huffington Post’s The Blog: “The War on Drugs: A Shake-down, Not a Fair Shake for the Middle Class”

In the wake of President Obama’s re-election and the fervor around “fiscal cliff” negotiations, issues related to middle class empowerment and fairness are rightfully at the center of our national policy agenda. Decisions related to tax burden allocations and spending priorities are being made that have the potential to affect the middle class for a…

Mary Anne Mendenhall and Emma S. Ketteringham in Huffington Post’s The Blog “Some Pro-Pot Parents Blog, Others Lose Their Children”

Recently, The New York Times published an op-ed by an art dealer and father from San Francisco, titled “Pot for Parents.” It was just the latest of a growing number of pieces published recently espousing the benefits of marijuana use for parents. These pro-pot missives share a carefree and cavalier tone, portraying marijuana use as…

Holly Beck co-authors article in the New York Law Journal

Chris Gottlieb, co-director of the NYU School of Law Family Defense Clinic, and Holly Beck, staff attorney with The Bronx Defenders, write that when a court conducts a hearing in the absence of a defending party, an attorney who appears for that party may face a dilemma: whether to participate in the hearing, and thereby…

Fixing New York’s Broken Bail System

By Justine Olderman, 16 CUNY L. Rev. 9, CUNY Law Review (Winter 2012) New York City jails are currently filled with people who are serving time but haven’t been convicted of anything at all. They are there for one reason. They cannot afford the price of their bail. Bail is the single most important decision made in a…