Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

NPR: Should A Criminal Record Come With Collateral Consequences?

Maurice Alexander was 61 when he was convicted on a misdemeanor charge. He only served ten days in jail, but six years later it would cost him a chance at affordable housing and leave him homeless for nearly seven months. Federal, state, and local laws impose a convoluted network of barriers on anyone with a…

Skylar Albertson spoke before NYC Board of Correction on solitary confinement concerns

On November 18th, Skylar Albertson spoke at a NYC Board of Correction (BOC) meeting concerning the use of solitary confinement and the Department of Correction’s (DOC) proposal to create Enhanced Supervision Housing (ESH) units at Rikers Island. The BOC, an independent oversight agency responsible for setting guidelines for the DOC, has been engaged in a…

Robin Steinberg and Scott Levy are panelists at Cardozo Law Review Symposium

Bronx Defenders Executive Director Robin Steinberg and Fundamental Fairness Project Director Scott Levy are both panelists at Cardozo Law School’s symposium “The Underbelly of the Beast: Misdemeanor Practice in the Era of Broken Windows and Saturation Policing,” taking place December 3rd and 4th, 2014. The symposium is presented by Cardozo Law Review and by Cardozo’s Criminal Defense Clinic…

Molly Kovel testified in front of New York City Council on Fair Chance Act

Yesterday The Bronx Defenders’ Legal Director of the Civil Action Practice, Molly Kovel, presented written and oral testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Civil Rights regarding The Bronx Defenders’ enthusiastic support for the proposed Fair Chance Act, which would protect the thousands of people with criminal records in New York City against some of the…

The Bronx Defenders Responds to Mayor de Blasio’s Initiative to Address Mental Health Crisis in NYC’s Criminal Justice System

The Bronx Defenders commends Mayor de Blasio for taking a major step toward addressing one of New York City’s most troubling criminal justice issues: the criminalization of individuals with mental health issues and substance use disorders. In announcing a $130 million initiative to divert these New Yorkers away from incarceration and into treatment, the City…

The Bronx Defenders’ Statement on Ferguson

The Bronx Defenders today reiterates its support for the families and communities of Mike Brown, Akai Gurley, Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, and the countless number of young men of color who have been victims of police brutality. The announcement last night of a No True Bill against Officer Darren Wilson exposed long-standing feelings of injustice…

New York Post: Mayor pushes mail-in policy for marijuana fines

Mayor de Blasio wants to include ethnic and ­racial data on the NYPD’s new marijuana summonses — and allow people to pay fines by mail. The convenience would be similar to a system already in place for drivers who can get rid of parking tickets with a check and a stamp. “That’s a choice that…

The Bronx Defenders’ Statement in Response to President Obama’s announcement on Executive Immigration Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jennifer Friedman, The Bronx Defenders, 718-508-3408 or JenniferF@bronxdefenders.org Last night, families around the Bronx held their breath as the President announced sweeping changes that will expand work authorization and protect millions of immigrants from deportation. At The Bronx Defenders—and for the families we represent—the announcement was met with a mix of…

Brooklyn Independent Media: Pot Arrest Policy

“The much larger issue is racial disparity in arrests: Citywide 86% of the people being arrested [for marijuana possession] are black and latino.” – Scott Levy, The Bronx Defenders   The Bronx Defenders Fundamental Fairness Project Director Scott Levy, together with Gabriel Sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance and Shapriece Townsend of Vocal NY discuss…

The Bronx Defenders’ Scott Levy on Hot 97’s Street Soldiers with Lisa Evers Discussing the NYPD’s New Marijuana Policy

Scott Levy, Project Director of The Fundamental Fairness Project at The Bronx Defenders, took part in a dynamic conversation surrounding the NYPD’s new marijuana policy on “Hot 97 Street Soldiers with Lisa Evers.” The radio program brought together drug policy experts, legal experts, law enforcement officials, and individuals with previous criminal justice involvement to discuss and debate…

NY1 Noticias: La Policía de Bill de Blasio y las minorías de Nueva York

La posesión de pequeñas cantidades de marihuana ya no desembocará en arresto, sino en multa o citación judicial. El concejal de Brooklyn y Queens Antonio Reynoso, Priscilla González, de Comunidades Unidas por una Reforma Policial y Walter Rodríguez, de Bronx Defenders, analizan las políticas policiales del alcalde Bill de Blasio y las relaciones entre la…

NBC 4 New York: I-Team Exclusive: Cops in Ticket Fixing Scandal Still on the Beat

In an I-Team exclusive report on NBC 4 New York investigating NYPD officers involved in a ticket-fixing scandal where they were caught asking for illegal favors, Bronx Defenders Managing Director of the Criminal Defense Practice Justine Olderman and Criminal Defense Attorney Phil Hamilton talk about the unfair lack of transparency when police officers conduct is…

Sixteen Bronx Defenders staff members presenting as panelists at the 2014 National Legal Aid & Defender Association Conference

At this year’s National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) conference, Blueprint for Justice: Designing a New Paradigm for Impact, a total of 16 Bronx Defenders advocates — attorneys, social workers, and data and technology specialists across the Criminal Defense, Family Defense, and Civil Action Practices, as well as the Technology & Evaluation Department — will be presenting on 4 different…

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…