Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Bail

New York Times: Jail or Bail? There’s a New Option

In New York City, supervised release is an alternative to jail and bail. “It reinforces this notion that people charged with violent offenses are somehow less deserving of the presumption of innocence than others.” Scott Levy, our special counsel, on how excluding certain statutes in supervised release hinder reform. Read more here.

Joint Statement Against Mayor de Blasio’s Comments on Bail and Parole

  ***Joint Statement*** New York, NY – Today, a broad cross-section of criminal justice advocates and legal service providers issued the following joint statement condemning comments made by Mayor de Blasio on bail and parole reform during a media availability with the NYPD on Thursday, January 3rd. The letter states:  We are appalled by New…

Open Letter to Governor Cuomo: Principles for Bail Overhaul in 2019

In any given day, 16,000 New Yorkers are held in on bail because they cannot afford the price of their freedom. We are proud to stand with a coalition of 136 advocate groups calling for meaningful, comprehensive, and true bail reform. We must no longer accept a bail system that creates and reinforces wealth- and…

Scott Levy Presented Testimony at City Council Oversight Hearing

Scott Levy, Special counsel of the Criminal Defense Practice, presented testimony at City Council Oversight Hearing: Why Does the City Make It So Hard to Post Bail? Written Comments of The Bronx Defenders  New York City Council Committee on Criminal Justice & Committee on Justice System Oversight Hearing: Why Does the City Make It So Hard to…

BxD’s Justine Olderman Interview with BronxNet TV’s “Today’s Verdict”

“What we’re trying to do is redefine public defense and in doing so, transform the way that people are treated in our justice system…we go wherever the client goes and we defend that client by whatever means necessary.” Justine Olderman, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders sits down with BronxNet Community Television’s “Today’s Verdict” with…

The Bronx Defenders responds to Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address

New York, NY — On January 3, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered the annual State of the State address in Albany and unveiled a package of criminal justice reform proposals. Justine Olderman, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders, responded: “The Governor’s package of criminal justice proposals represents an important acknowledgement that we cannot have…

BxD’s Scott Levy & Sarah Deri Oshiro speaks with BronxTalk

Scott Levy, Special Counsel to the Criminal Defense Practice and Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director of the Immigration Practice sit down and speak with BronxTalk. Scott Levy discusses how to bring meaningful change to New York’s bail system: “The issue is that our bail statute is not used properly right now…If we started actually using…

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…

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…

New York Times: The Bail Trap

Every year, thousands of innocent people are sent to jail only because they can’t afford to post bail, putting them at risk of losing their jobs, custody of their children — even their lives. Two years later, that may be changing. This summer, the New York City Council took a tentative step toward reform by…

Bronx Freedom Fund awarded the 2015 National Criminal Justice Association Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award

On Tuesday, August 4th, 2015, The Bronx Freedom Fund received the award from the National Criminal Justice Association for “outstanding criminal justice program” in the Northeast Region. Alyssa Work, Project Director of The Bronx Freedom Fund, Robin Steinberg, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders and co-founder of The Bronx Freedom Fund, and David Feige, co-founder…

The Jewish Voice: City Council Holds Hearing to Examine the NY Bail System

The Courts & Legal Services Committee and the Fire & Criminal Justice Services Committee recently held a joint hearing, ‘Examining the New York Bail System and the Need for Reform.’ The hearing, chaired by Council Member Rory Lancman and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, looked at how to reform our dysfunctional bail system. “Our bail system…

City Limits: Skeptical of Bail System—and of Plans to Reform It

In a move heralded as a reform to the city’s criminal justice system, Mayor de Blasio recently unveiled a $17.8 million plan to replace bail with “supervised release” for some defendants accused of misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies. Once the program rolls out next year, officials anticipate that judges will be able to order community supervision…

The Indian Panorama: City Council Holds Bail Hearing

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): The Courts & Legal Services Committee and the Fire & Criminal Justice Services Committee recently held a joint hearing, ‘Examining the New York Bail System and the Need for Reform.’ The hearing, chaired by Council Member Lancman and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, looked at how to reform our dysfunctional bail system….

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…

HuffPost Live: NYC To End Cash Bail For Low-Level Offenders

“The law is not the problem. The fact that judges routinely disregard the law and the options provided for under the law is the issue.” — Robyn Mar, Director of Early Advocacy New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to end bail for low-level offenders, allowing them to await trial under home supervision. We…

WNYC: New Bail Alternative Means Freedom for Thousands

Thousands of people accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies will stay out of Rikers Island under a $17.8 million pretrial supervision program, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday. The program comes as local officials try to reduce violence at the Rikers Island jails and while they grapple with concerns the criminal justice system discriminates against…