Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Holistic Defense

Where Criminal Defense Meets Civil Action: an Interview with Runa Rajagopal

This is the third in a series of interviews with attorneys who are pursuing social change through their work. This conversation is between Social Change editor Meghna Philip and Runa Rajagopal, a Team Leader and Supervising Attorney with the Bronx Defenders’ Civil Action Practice. Meghna Philip: You are the Supervising Attorney of the Civil Action…

The Atlantic: How Treatment Courts Can Reduce Crime

Court-mandated substance-abuse treatment programs can keep people out of prison and save tax-payer dollars, so why aren’t they being utilized? When I first met my client, he was sitting on the other side of a metal grate (The client’s name has been withheld because of attorney-client confidentiality). We were in the cells behind the arraignment…

Avery McNeil Presented Testimony Before the New York City Council

Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney and Coordinator for the Human Traffic Intervention Court Avery McNeil presented testimony before the New York City Council Joint Hearing of the Committee on Courts and Legal Services and the Committee on Women’s Issues on September 18th, 2015 to discuss the effectiveness of the intervention court in the Bronx and make recommendations for…

BxD Attorneys and Social Workers present at the 4th National Parent Attorney Conference

On July 22-23, 2015, The Bronx Defenders’ Attorneys and Social Workers presented on three panels at the 4th National Parent Attorney Conference: Achieving Justice Against the Odds in Washington, DC. Bronx Defenders presenting at the conference include Managing Director of the Family Defense Practice Emma Ketteringham, Family Defense Attorney Jessica Horan-Block, Family Defense Social Worker Caitlin Becker, and Family…

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…

BxD’s Elizabeth Keeney presented at NLADA’s Community Oriented Defender Network Annual Conference

BxD’s Managing Director of Social Worker, Elizabeth Keeney, presented at the NLADA’s Community Oriented Defender Network Annual Conference on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015. She participated on the panel “Mandatory Reporting for Social Workers in Defender Offices.” A description of the panel: All 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some permutation of mandatory…

BxD Social Workers and Advocates to present at the 2015 NOFSW Conference

On August 21-23, 2015, four of The Bronx Defenders’ Social Workers and Civil Legal Advocates will be presenting on two panels at the 2015 National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW) Conference in Arlington, VA. The 32nd Annual NOFSW Conference, entitled “Forensic Practice: Promoting Social Justice for All Through Policy and Practice Reform,” is committed to advancing a new…

Bronx Defenders statement on NYC Council passing of the Fair Chance Act

The Bronx Defenders applauds the New York City Council for passing the Fair Chance Act, a bill that will give New Yorkers with criminal records a fair chance to compete for jobs. The Fair Chance Act will prohibit all public and private employers in New York City from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until…

Bronx Defenders advocates present at NASW Addictions Institute conference

Yesterday, June 3, 2015, four Bronx Defenders advocates presented at the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter (NASW-NYC) 47th Annual Addictions Institute conference, “Marijuana and Emerging Drugs: Evolving Perceptions in Addictions.” Bronx Defenders Parent Advocate Dinah Ortiz and Social Worker Sarah Cremer presented on the presumptions and prejudice surrounding drug use by pregnant…

The Bronx Defenders wraps up its 2015 Defenders’ Academy Spring Training Program!

The Bronx Defenders wrapped up another session of our nationally renowned Defenders’ Academy Spring Training yesterday. Over six days, 74 participants from over a dozen different organizations – ranging from public defender offices to private firms to the U.S. military – came together at The Bronx Defenders Justice Campus to partake in an intensive trial skills program…

Justine Olderman testifies before City Council on the stigma of mental illness

Managing Director of the Criminal Defense Practice Justine Olderman presented oral testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Courts and Legal Services earlier this month, on May 12. While commending the efforts that the Mayor and City Council have made thus far to address the over-incarceration of the mentally ill, Justine’s testimony called attention…

The Bronx Freedom Fund receives NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award!

The Bronx Freedom Fund has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 National Criminal Justice Association Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for the Northeast Region. Each year, NCJA honors five outstanding criminal justice programs at the National Forum on Criminal Justice. Award winners are selected by a panel of criminal justice experts to recognize innovative…

The Bronx Defenders to be honored by Child Welfare Organizing Project

Next Wednesday, May 13, Bronx Defenders Executive Director Robin Steinberg, on behalf of The Bronx Defenders, will accept the honor of “Courageous Social Activist” from the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP). As CWOP celebrates 20 Years of Activism next week, they will be honoring Dr. Terry Mizrahi, professor at Hunter School of Social Work and…

Emily Galvin to present at Bennington College’s Incarceration in America conference

Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney Emily Galvin will be presenting at Bennington College’s second conference in its Incarceration in America series: Effecting Change, on May 15–16, 2015. The conference is part of Bennington’s growing Incarceration in America initiative, which includes curriculum, visiting speakers, theatrical events, think tanks, and retreats to develop public policy and political action in…

The Bronx Defenders receives Community Organization Award from Brooklyn Law School

Earlier this week, Bronx Defenders Trial Chief Karen Smolar accepted the “Community Organization Award” on behalf of The Bronx Defenders from the Brooklyn Law School National Lawyer’s Guild Chapter and the Brooklyn Law School Public Service Office. The Community Organization Award is given to an institution or group which is dedicated to social justice and has…

Pro Bono props from The Bronx Defenders!

The Bronx Defenders works with a number of pro bono law firms on a range of matters, from isolated client case issues to ongoing projects. This support plays a crucial role in advancing our mission to combat the systemic challenges driving indigent people into the justice system, and to redefine public defense. To highlight just…

Bronx Defenders advocates present at National Association of Social Workers conference

Three Bronx Defenders advocates — Social Worker Sarah Knight, Parent Advocate Keston Jones, and Civil Legal Advocate Maria Monica Andia — will be presenting at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), New York City Chapter conference “Social Work in the City: Dreams and Realities of Life in New York” on April 8, 2015. The conference aims…

Kate Rubin and Scott Levy testified before City Council on community policing

Bronx Defenders Managing Director of the Civil Action Practice Kate Rubin, together with Fundamental Fairness Project Director Scott Levy, submitted written comments on behalf of The Bronx Defenders to New York City Council’s Committee on Public Safety on March 3, 2015, discussing key issues to consider in community policing. The testimony describes two critical lenses through which…

Kate Rubin to speak at Jon Jay panel on community consequences of incarceration

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, John Jay College of Criminal Justice will be hosting the fifth installment of the 2014-15 PRI Occasional Series on Reentry Research, highlighting issues raised by the National Academy of Sciences’ groundbreaking report, “The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Causes and Consequences.” Bronx Defenders Managing Director of the Civil…