Congressman Serrano Announces $350,000 in DOJ Funding for the Bronx Defenders for Holistic Defense

The Bronx Defenders is excited to share the news announced in a press release published by U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano yesterday that the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance has awarded renewed funding to The Bronx Defenders Center for Holistic Defense:

Sep 29, 2014 | Issues: The Bronx

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY) announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Assistance, has awarded a $350,000 grant to the Bronx Defenders for Holistic Defense. Awarded through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, these funds will allow the Bronx Defenders to provide 24 months of intensive training to public defender offices in their comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to defending clients while addressing related civil legal issues and providing non-legal social work support in the Bronx.

When a person is charged with a crime, Bronx Defenders examine his or her personal circumstances, their lives and needs, and makes these factors an important component of their legal case. They also address the impact that facing criminal charges may have in other areas of their life – including employment status, housing, and family situation. Bronx Defenders approach is to provide comprehensive support for all of these issues, in order to address the full impact of the criminal justice system on an individual, their family, and their community.

“I am extremely pleased to announce that a groundbreaking organization like the Bronx Defenders has been awarded federal money to continue helping our community and to bring their model to other localities. Bronx Defenders offers legal services for criminal trials, but their service model goes well beyond that. It also offers social services and help with employment, housing, and other issues that may arise because of a person’s involvement with the criminal justice system,” said Congressman Serrano. “Its interdisciplinary approach is a great example of what can be achieved when we treat each person as an individual with unique needs, when we work to mitigate the impact of the criminal justice system on their lives, and when we promote alternatives to incarceration. I am glad to see the Department of Justice recognize the success of their work, just as so many in the Bronx already have.”

“The Bronx Defenders is grateful for the continued support of the United States Department of Justice for the Center for Holistic Defense. By providing critical funding for our training and technical assistance efforts, this grant is helping to bring The Bronx Defenders’ innovative model of holistic defense to defender offices and jurisdictions across the country. Indeed, this grant is an emphatic confirmation of the Justice Department’s commitment — as Attorney General Holder recently stated – ‘to addressing the inequalities that unfold every day in America’s courtrooms,’ ” said Robin Steinberg, Executive Director of Bronx Defenders.

The Bronx Defenders Center for Holistic Defense offers training and assistance to public defender offices that want to adopt the holistic defense approach in their own jurisdiction, and this grant will allow the Center to continue this training for the next two years. Their main goals are to reduce recidivism, stabilize client’s lives, achieve better outcomes in court and restore confidence in the criminal justice system. For more information about Bronx Defenders, please visit:


To read the original press release click here.