Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Know Your Rights

City and State: Out on parole, and turning out to vote

“I believe voting is a right. I recognize that there’s a perpetual punishment system that exists. And for me, voting is fundamental to attacking that and addressing that and dismantling that.” Our Wesley Caines, Re-Entry and Community Outreach Coordinator, on voting while out on parole. Read more here 

New York Law Journal: We Need Speedy Trial Reform in City’s Criminal Courts

Too often in New York City, the maxim “justice delayed is justice denied” is no mere abstraction, but a reality that wears down defendants, dispirits victims and cheats taxpayers. This is particularly true in the city’s criminal court, where lower-level cases—misdemeanors and petty offenses—are adjudicated and where the gaze of policymakers and the press rarely…

The New Yorker: Sonia from the Bronx

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, says that she prefers to be called Sonia from the Bronx. Chances are nobody who meets her ever dreams of calling her anything so informal. When she came back to her native borough last week for an Evening of Conversation at the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit…

WNYC: Who Should Have Control of Police Footage?

In the recent police shooting death of teenager in Chicago, a court ordered the public release of the dashboard camera video. But why are police in control of this type of footage? Sarah Lustbader, staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders, a public defender office, discusses the circumstances surrounding a court order for the release of…

New York Times: The Real Problem With Police Video

A Chicago police officer shot and killed a teenager named Laquan McDonald in October of last year, but most of us learned about Mr. McDonald only last week, after a judge ordered the release of police video footage of his death. That is also when prosecutors finally brought first-degree murder charges against the officer. Clearly,…

Bronx Times: Annual block party held by Bronx Defenders

The Bronx Defenders held their 2015 Community Block Party on Wednesday, July 8 at the organization’s headquarters of 360 E. 161st Street. The block party included a barbecue, performances from local musicians, face painting, basketball tournaments, balloon animals, pony rides, carnival games, and other activities. By Steven Goodstein To see photos click here.

The Bronx Defenders hosted its Third Annual Youth Justice Summit!

This week, The Bronx Defenders hosted its Third Annual Youth Justice Summit. Over two days at The Bronx Defenders Justice Campus, we brought together 104 youth from three schools and one youth program: Truman High School, Bronx School of Law, Government, and Justice, Bronx Lighthouse Academy, and the BronxConnect Program. The Bronx Defenders was joined by three of…

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…

HuffPost Live: Kumar Rao interviewed on death of Eric Garner and police brutality

“We need to hold the police department as a whole accountable for the culture that allows for police officers to regularly profile people of color, target them, [and] use physical force against them.” The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney and Director of Strategic Initiatives Kumar Rao appeared on HuffPost Live last night, hosted by Ricky…

The Bronx Defenders is Issuing a Call for Proposals for Civil Forfeiture Video Project

Request for Proposals Civil Forfeiture Video Project Submission Date: July 2, 2014 Organization Overview The Bronx Defenders is a community-based, multi-service legal organization dedicated to addressing the underlying problems of poverty in the Bronx by providing innovative, holistic, and client-centered criminal defense, family defense, civil legal services, and social services to indigent Bronx residents. Our…

The Bronx Defenders Hosts Its Second Annual Youth Justice Summit!

This week The Bronx Defenders hosted our 2nd Annual Youth Justice Summit! The Summit brought together at our Justice Campus over 100 students from 5 different schools to participate in a series of 12 workshops facilitated by our allies at The Point, Drug Policy Alliance, the Juvenile Justice Project, and the Justice Committee. Students from…

New York Times: Conflicting Expectations for Bratton’s Second Tour

In the 1990s, a time of vexing homicide rates in cities across the country, William J. Bratton left the New York Police Department and began marketing the crime-fighting techniques he had deployed so successfully here to other municipalities struggling with rampant disorder. At the time, business and civic leaders in Birmingham, Ala., brought him on…

City Limits: False Abuse Reports Trouble Child Welfare Advocates

In some neighborhoods in this city, it’s not uncommon for people to file an allegation of child abuse or neglect to settle a grudge. In a meeting with City Limits, lawyers and social workers from The Bronx Defenders, which represents parents with child welfare cases in the Bronx, described a string of such cases: a…

Legal Outreach at The Bronx Defenders for Summer 2013 Internship

During the week of August 5-8th, 2013, four rising sophomores from Legal Outreach interned with The Bronx Defenders. The interns were: Jazmin Bramble, Merari Denis, Adenique Lisse, and Carlos Salas. Below are some of their thoughts on the week. I had a pretty amazing week at the Bronx Defenders. Going to court, meeting different lawyers,…

Know Your Rights: Police Encounters & Misconduct

Police Encounters & Misconduct 1. When can police stop me on the street? In theory, the police cannot stop you on the street without reason. A New York State Court of Appeals case (People v. DeBour 40 N.Y. 2d 210) established four levels of street encounters between police and people, and allows a different “Permissible…

Know Your Rights: Voting Rights and Civic Participation

Voting Rights and Civic Participation Civic participation includes all the ways citizens participate in the democratic process. It includes the right to vote, serve on a jury, and run for elected office. Voting Rights In New York State, as long as you are a U.S. citizen 18 or older, you can vote unless you are currently in…

Know Your Rights: Parental Rights

Parental Rights 1. Can I lose my parental rights if I am convicted of a crime? Only very serious criminal convictions against a child – like murder and manslaughter – require the state to sue to terminate your parental rights. 2. Can I lose my parental rights if I am sentenced to prison or a residential treatment…

Know Your Rights: Records of Arrest and Prosecution

Records of Arrest and Prosecution If you have been convicted, or even arrested, for a crime, there is a record of it, often in many places at once. The court where you were sentenced maintains records of your criminal case, and those are public information available to credit reporting agencies. A record of your arrests…