Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

Truthout: Film the Police!

In August people filled the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, following black teenager Michael Brown’s death by police shooting in the city. Hundreds of protestors in New York and across the country gathered to show solidarity with protesters in St. Louis and to demand justice for Brown. There is no footage of Brown’s murder, and many…

Epoch Times: Brooklyn Charity Fund Seeks to Help People Too Poor to Afford Bail

NEW YORK—Public defender Josh Saunders has seen over and over again how his clients go to jail and suffer major life-altering consequences, when just $500 for bail would have prevented it. Because they could not afford to post bail, clients who hold jobs as fast-food workers, security guards, and home health aides have gotten fired…

Columbia Daily Spectator: Treatment over punishment

When I describe the need for treatment instead of punishment for the mentally ill and substance dependent, I split into two Loxleys. One inhabits the real world and lists reasons why he belongs in treatment facilities as opposed to correctional ones; another is trapped in a time-warp, re-experiencing the days and weeks he went missing,…

Law 360: 2nd Circ. Denies Union Intervention In Stop-And-Frisk Suits

Law360, New York (November 03, 2014, 2:56 PM ET) — The Second Circuit on Friday affirmed a district court decision denying a bid by New York City police unions to intervene in two class actions challenging the city’s stop-and-frisk policy, saying the motions were untimely and that the unions’ interests were too remote to warrant…

BxD Holistic Defense Partner ArchCity Defenders Received National Attention for White Paper on St. Louis County Municipal Courts

The ArchCity Defenders, a holistic legal services office in St. Louis, released a white paper earlier this year detailing the injustices of the St. Louis County Municipal Courts. The report has received extensive coverage in both local and national media organizations, including The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Huffington Post, FiveThirtyEight, and the…

The Epoch Times: Help, Not Incarceration

NEW YORK—Anthony Cruz is a different man now that he has been locked up several times. Before serving his 10-year sentence in New York state prisons for manslaughter in the first degree he was diagnosed with adjustment disorder and depression, among other mental health conditions. Cruz spent a total of three years in solitary confinement,…

The Bronx Defenders presented at New York State Defenders Association conference on veterans last week

Last Friday, October 17th, Bronx Defenders Civil Action Attorney Christa Douaihy, Criminal Defense Attorney Amalea Smirniotopoulos, and Family Defense Defense Attorney Lauren Teichner all presented at the New York State Defenders Association “Representing Veterans in New York Courts” conference in Albany. Their presentation, “Holistic Defense: Representing Veterans in Family Court and Beyond,” covered a range of topics…

Le Nouvel Observateur: Dans L’enfer de Rikers Island

“Several were younger than me, I can’t imagine myself in their places. These youths are completely dehumanized, they are called ‘bing monsters.’ It’s terrible to see that it is considered normal to brutalize youths this young.” – Skylar Albertson, Assistant to the Director, The Bronx Defenders “We have paid bail for 140 people, who were…

Emma Ketteringham and Elizabeth Keeney to present at 10th National Harm Reduction Conference this Thursday

This Thursday, October 23rd, Emma Ketteringam, Managing Director of the Family Defense Practice, and Elizabeth Keeney, Managing Director of Social Work will be presenting at the 10th National Harm Reduction Conference in Baltimore, MD. The biannual conference, sponsored and organized by the Harm Reduction Coalition, is the only multidisciplinary gathering dedicated to improving the health and well-being of…

Genia Blaser Testifies at New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration Hearing

“Every day, advocates at our office witness firsthand how the promise of due process held out by the 5th Amendment is unrealized by our non-citizen clients solely because of immigration status.  Whenever ICE has lodged a detainer against a non-citizen client and the client’s criminal case carries potential immigration consequences, that client is unable to…

Vice: How can we stop cops from beating and killing?

The multitude of black men killed by police led Maryam Monalisa Gharavi to call these last months “the Summer of Death” in her New Inquiry essay “The Killing Class.” In New York, police strangled grandfather Eric Garner. In Ohio, police gunned down John Crawford III in a Walmart while he was checking out an air…

BxD announces the release of its Holistic Defense Symposium report

It has been a very exciting year for the The Bronx Defenders’ Center for Holistic Defense! In May, we hosted the first annual Holistic Defense Symposium, which brought together representatives from 24 different organizations that are working to adopt holistic practices. In the coming weeks, we will begin meeting with our latest group of technical assistance sites. Since 2010,…

NY City Lens: South Bronx Defender

The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney Porsha Shaf’on Venable was featured in a piece by NY City Lens, a news website produced by students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, talking about her passion for being a public defender and serving the Bronx community: Public defender Shaf’on Venable wants to make a difference in her…

The New Yorker: Getting Teen-agers out of Solitary at Rikers

In this week’s New Yorker, I wrote about a sixteen-year-old boy from the Bronx named Kalief Browder, who was accused of robbery and confined on Rikers Island. He stayed there for three years, waiting for a trial that never happened. For the majority of that time, he was in solitary confinement, locked in a cell…

Los Angeles Times: Op-Ed: Cruel and usual punishment in jails and prisons

The 8th Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment. Yet it happens every day in prisons across the country. Putting aside capital punishment, which I would argue is cruel and unusual on its face, Americans are ignoring a host of horrific conditions that inmates are subjected to. This is not only morally and constitutionally dangerous; it…

BxD’s Colby Dillon featured this month in Northwestern Law’s “Ask An Alum” column

Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney Colby Dillon was featured this month in Northwestern University School of Law’s Children and Family Justice Center blog, Youth Matters, in their “Ask an Alum” column, speaking about her experience as a new public defender at The Bronx Defenders. Colby (JD ’13) works as a juvenile attorney at The Bronx Defenders in…

BxD’s Mary Anne Mendenhall on Hot 97 ‘Street Soldiers’ discussing the Adrian Peterson child abuse case

Yesterday, September 21, 2014, Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice Supervising Attorney Mary Anne Mendenhall joined in a compelling discussion on NFL player Adrian Peterson’s ongoing child abuse case, offering keen insights into the experiences and challenges faced by Bronx Defenders clients in Bronx Family Court. The episode of Hot 97’s “Street Soldiers” with host Lisa Evers brought…

Solitary Watch: Seven Days in Solitary

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. The American Civil Liberties Union released 26 reports alleging extensive abuses in Arizona’s prisons, including claims that individuals are being placed in solitary confinement because prison beds elsewhere are…

Village Voice: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island is Torture and “Inexcusably Extreme,” Bronx Defenders Say

Inmates are placed in solitary confinement at Rikers Island for “inexcusably extreme” amounts of time, a new report charges, “egregiously disproportionate” to the infractions they are alleged to have committed. While in solitary, it can be difficult for inmates to get access to the most basic of services, including food, showers, and phone time. That’s…

WNYC: In Solitary, Inmates Languish, Despair and Attempt Suicide: Report

The Otis Bantum Correctional Center has the largest solitary confinement unit on Rikers Island. It holds roughly 400 inmates, according to the Board of Correction. The Otis Bantum Correctional Center has the largest solitary confinement unit on Rikers Island. It holds roughly 400 inmates, according to the Board of Correction. (Brigid Bergin/WNYC) A new report…

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…