Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Holistic Defense

Thurston Talk: Thurston County Wins Grant from Center for Holistic Defense

The county’s Director of the Office of Assigned Counsel and a handful of staff members traveled to New York City last week thanks to a technical assistance grant from the Center for Holistic Defense. Thurston County’s Office of Assigned Counsel is one of only four teams in the nation to win a 2014-2015 technical assistance…

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…

New bill passed makes New York City a safer, more just place for immigrants and their families

“Thanks to the City Council’s groundbreaking leadership on this issue, dozens of the Bronx residents we have represented are home with their families, supporting their children, and contributing to their communities” said Robin Steinberg, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders. “The proposed expansion will mean fairness and justice for more immigrant families in the Bronx.”…

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 Provided Backpacks Stocked with School Supplies to 72 Clients’ Families

A huge thank you to everyone who supported The Bronx Defenders Client Emergency Fund “Cash for Crayons” fall fundraiser. With the donations received, The Bronx Defenders provided over 100 new backpacks filled with school supplies to 72 clients’ families this month. Pictured here are four of BxD client Ms. Taveras’s seven children. Ms. Taveras has been a…

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…

Associated Press: Public Housing Safety Policy Can Hit Whole Family

NEW YORK (AP) — Wanda Coleman sits in the New York City public housing apartment where she’s lived for 25 years, surrounded by empty rooms, bare walls and suitcases lined up by the front door. Any day now, she and her teen daughter will be evicted and have no other option than to go to…

The Christian Science Monitor: Retraining the NYPD after chokehold death

NEW YORK — The New York City Police Department outlined a new tactical training program on Monday as the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio continues its efforts to mend the fractured relationship between the nation’s largest police force and the city’s minority communities. Speaking before the New York City Council Monday morning, police Commissioner…

The Intercept: America Without the Makeup: Artez Hurston’s Ferguson

A highlight of the challenging and important work that the Arch City Defenders, one of The Bronx Defenders Center for Holistic Defense Training and Technical Assistance Sites, is doing in Missouri: Artez Hurston is curled up on a concrete bench in a Missouri jail cell, fast asleep. He snoozes peacefully, despite the fact that just…

Please help BxD’s Client Emergency Fund continue to support clients in need

Recognizing the number of clients who lack access to basic necessities essential to safeguarding their wellbeing, the safety and welfare of their family, and their ability to remain on a stable path towards closing their court courses and rebuilding their lives, The Bronx Defenders started the Client Emergency Fund (CEF). The CEF provides small sums of money…

New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Arrests for transit fare evasion surge in recent years, putting it among city’s top offenses leading to jail: Daily News analysis

Fare-beating arrests have increased 69% — from 14,681 in 2008 to 24,747 in 2013 — and are on pace to be slightly higher this year. Nearly 37,500 people have gotten sentences for the $2.50 crime that involved incarceration, including time-served, and 1,802 of those people were minors, according to data obtained by the Daily News….

Bronx Defenders Social Workers Represent Holistic Defense at This Year’s National Organization of Forensic Social Work Conference

Last month, The National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW) held its annual conference, which took place this year in New York at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. Several social workers and one attorney from The Bronx Defenders attended the conference, including four staff members who presented. Participation in the conference not only presented an exciting learning and…

Spotlight on The Bronx Defenders’ new Prostitution Conviction Vacature Project

Every year in New York City, thousands of people who are victims of sex trafficking are arrested, charged, and ultimately convicted of prostitution-related offenses. Due to New York City’s zero-tolerance policing, many of these people are arrested multiple times and face repeated prosecutions. Convictions for prostitution carry an enormous stigma and make it extremely difficult…