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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

Gothamist: Man Who Tried To Escape Rikers Twice In Four Days ‘Has No Other Choice,’ Fellow Inmate Says

“Rikers Island inmates have also not been allowed in-person visits with their lawyers since late March because of the pandemic, Ann H. Mathews, the Bronx Defenders’ Managing Director of Criminal Defense Practice, told Gothamist. While they have been allowed video conferences via a digital Skype-like interface, those sometimes take weeks to schedule. Besides, she emphasized,…

Warwick Valley Dispatch: Comm. Members Discuss Anti-Racism Focus In Warwick Schools

“A virtual “town hall” meeting for Warwick parents and educators took place on Sun., June 7, via zoom conference, with over 30 attendees. Its purpose was to come together as an educational community to discuss implementing a culturally responsible and actively anti-racist culture in Warwick schools. Meant as a gateway to greater community engagement, the…

Law360: Virus Concerns Loom Over Handling Of Mass Arrests

“Police should not be arresting individuals who are peacefully exercising their First Amendment right to protest, said Ann Mathews, managing director of the criminal defense practice at Bronx Defenders. And if cops do cuff peaceful protesters, district attorneys should decline to prosecute them, Mathews said.” Read the full article here

PIX11: Group claims Cuomo urged DAs to overcharge black protesters to detain them

“Several legal defense groups called it an effort to circumvent the law and unlawfully detain protesters. “Already, there is a backlog of hundreds of New Yorkers who are being illegally held because the NYPD refuses to issue Desk Appearance Tickets in lieu of arrests or complete the paperwork necessary to arraign them, despite the fact…

CityLimits: City’s Courts Seen Lacking in Interpreters

“The situation is complicated when these organizations cannot pay for private simultaneous translation services and the lawyers are not bilingual. If a defendant is in custody, “you can’t talk to the person if you don’t know the language,” explains Alice Fontier, director of criminal practice at The Bronx Defenders. So for those who can’t make…

Legislative Gazette: Budget includes compromise on bail reform and judicial discretion

“Now, discovery laws have been extended to 20 calendar days and allowed some information to be non-discoverable. “The [amendments to] discovery provisions will also deny people facing criminal charges access to crucial and potentially exculpatory witness information. These are not small tweaks; they have bludgeoned reform just as it was taking root,” said the Bronx…

NY1: Protesters Demand Release of Queensboro Correctional Facility Prisoners

“Advocates held a rally outside Queensboro Correctional Facility demanding the release all state prisoners who are within one year of their release date. The protest, which included former inmates, prison health experts and advocacy organizations, is part of a larger call to release prisoners in order to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Read the…

Bronx Defenders Wins Immediate Release of 3 Individuals Vulnerable to COVID-19 in NYC Jails

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** Bronx Defenders Wins Immediate Release of 3 Individuals Vulnerable to COVID-19 in NYC Jails  April 8, 2020 CONTACT: Ryan Karerat, The Bronx Defenders, 917-635-4326, rkarerat@bronxdefenders.org (NEW YORK, NY) – A judge today ordered the immediate release of three people detained in New York City jails who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 in…

The New York Times: ‘A Storm Is Coming’: Fears of an Inmate Epidemic as the Virus Spreads in the Jails

“Public defenders and advocates for inmates have called for sending home all inmates with pre-existing medical conditions, those over 50 and anyone jailed for a parole violation. “It is a ticking time bomb,” said Justine Olderman, executive director of the Bronx Defenders. “We’re looking for bold action and leadership.” On Saturday, the Board of Correction,…

Business Insider: A Rikers Island inmate contracted coronavirus. Experts say jails are at high risk for an outbreak.

Inmates there and around New York City have lodged complaints that the jails lack “basic sanitation measures,” according to the Legal Aid Society. “There are broken sinks, there’s no hand sanitizer, people don’t have access to soap,” Justine Olderman, executive director of Bronx Defenders, told The Intercept. “And at a time we’re all being asked to…

Bronx Defenders Statement on Reports of Positive COVID-19 Tests on Rikers Island

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2020 NEW YORK – Justine Olderman, Executive Director at The Bronx Defenders, issued the following statement in response to reports that an incarcerated person and corrections officer at Rikers Island tested positive for COVID-19: “This inevitable development only underscores what we have been saying all along: the people in our jails are particularly vulnerable…

New York Magazine: Will Rikers Island Free Inmates Because of the Coronavirus?

“The only way we can possibly keep incarcerated people safe is to release them,” said Justine Olderman, executive director of the Bronx Defenders. “The next best thing is to drastically reduce the number of people being held. Neither of those things are being done right now. As public defenders, what we’re actually seeing happen is…

Joint Defender Statement Calling for Immediate Release of Vulnerable Incarcerated New Yorkers in Response to Coronavirus

March 16, 2020   Contact Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society (RHaskins@legal-aid.org) Daniel Ball, Brooklyn Defender Services (DBall@bds.org) Ryan Karerat, The Bronx Defenders (RKarerat@bronxdefenders.org) Lupe Todd-Medina, New York County Defender Services (LToddmedina@nycds.org) Sam McCann, The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org)   ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** Joint Defender Statement Calling for Immediate Release of Vulnerable Incarcerated…

The City: NYPD Stalls On Sharing Property Seizure Stats Required By City Law

Marventz Sulfradin didn’t know his date had a gun until police began pulling them over after they bought chicken nuggets and fries from a Brooklyn McDonald’s drive-thru in November. When the cops flashed their lights, the date, who was driving, pulled the firearm from his jacket, plopped it in Sulfradin’s lap and told him to…

New York Post: NYC’s public defenders claim NYPD may be faking spike in crime

A decrease in the number of criminal cases city prosecutors are pursuing suggests that the crime spike recently reported by the NYPD could be a ruse to incite fear over criminal justice reforms, a coalition of public defenders said Tuesday. “Since the NYPD controls how, when, and where they arrest people and what they charge an arrested…