Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Policy & Community

Chenye Castroni presented testimony before City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services

Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Social Worker Cheyne Castroni presented testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services earlier this week in support of Intro Number 770, which would require that the Department of Correction (DOC) establish a crisis intervention program. Cheyne shared his experiences employing his crisis intervention training…

BxD’s Annual Youth Justice Summit coming up on May 19 and 20

The Bronx Defenders’ annual Youth Justice Summit brings together students from the Bronx to participate in youth-specific workshops facilitated by several of our organizational allies in New York City. The third annual Youth Justice Summit will take place at The Bronx Defenders’ Justice Campus over two days, May 19 – 20, 2015. This year’s partner organizations for…

BxD applauds the Mayor’s proposal to expand rent-regulated tenant protections

In a New York Daily News Exclusive released May 5, 2015, Mayor de Blasio unveiled his proposal for sweeping reforms to enhance rent laws that protect hardworking New York families living in the city’s one million rent-regulated apartments. The Mayor, together with housing advocates, intends to promote these reforms over the next six weeks in order to get…

City Limits: Four Nonprofits to Receive Residual Class-Action Settlement Funds

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, and The Bronx Defenders, all leading civil rights advocacy groups and law firms, announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has approved their request to equally distribute nearly $165,000 in remaining class-action settlement funds…

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…

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…

BxD and attorneys from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP collaborate on amicus brief

On behalf of 15 organizations supporting the rights, interests, and health of parents and pregnant women, The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice, along with attorneys at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, sought leave to file an amicus brief in the New York Appellate Division, First Department, last week. Our brief argues that the New York…

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…

Emma Ketteringham to join panel at Cardozo “Policing, Conflict, and Change” conference

Bronx Defenders Managing Director of the Family Defense Practice Emma Ketteringham will be presenting on a panel at Cardozo School of Law’s “Policing, Conflict, and Change” Conference next Thursday, March 12, 2015. The conference will be an all-day event with four panel discussions surrounding the state of policing today, the development of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,…

City Limits: The Rap-Sheet Trap: Mistaken Arrest Records Haunt Millions

Melissa wasn’t aiming terribly high: She wanted to be a substitute teacher in New York City’s school system, a job that would combine her passion for education with a decent paycheck. Yet her modest goal had to go on hold thanks to the inability of an upstate court to verify that her almost 20-year-old shoplifting…

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…

Justine Olderman Presented Testimony to City Council on Evaluating the Effectiveness of Indigent Defense

But in truth, traditional metrics fail to adequately measure effective representation…We cannot talk about caseloads, qualifications, training, or supervision without taking into account the radical change in our responsibility to our clients. We must first recognize that no matter how well organized, staffed, trained, supervised, and evaluated we are, we are not meeting minimum standards…

Capital New York: Officials: Expand legal program for immigrants

Members of the state Assembly and advocates want to expand a public defender program for immigrant New Yorkers who are facing deportation. The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) aims to decrease the rate of deportations of New Yorkers who, for the most part, have been living lawful, productive lives despite their unresolved legal…

New York Law Journal: City Broadens Its Evaluation of Indigent Criminal Defense

New York City officials are testing a number of methods to assess the quality of indigent criminal defense, which, they say, is part of a broader attempt to make for a fairer criminal justice system. Though the city now tracks conviction rates, incarceration rates, case duration, charge reduction and disposition at arraignments, officials in Mayor…

BronxNet: Today’s Verdict

“We know that young white men, for example, smoke marijuana at rates at least on par or at higher rates than young black or Latino men, and yet 87% of the people arrested for marijuana possession in New York City are black and Latino, and in the Bronx that number is 95%.” The Bronx Defenders’…

WBAI’s On the Count: Immigration and Detention Post-Obama Executive Order

The Bronx Defenders Immigration Attorney Conor Gleason joined Abraham Paolos of Families for Freedom to discuss the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) and the impact on families of deportations post-Executive Action Orders on WBAI’s “On the Count” with guest host Khalil Cumberbatch last Saturday, January 10, 2015. Listen to the segment here:

The Bronx Defenders releases its report “The Hidden Tax: Economic Costs of Marijuana Enforcement in the Bronx and New York City”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 17, 2014 Contact: Scott Levy, The Bronx Defenders, 718-838-7833, ScottL@bronxdefenders.org The Hidden Tax: Economic Costs of Marijuana Enforcement in the Bronx and New York City New York – The Bronx Defenders released The Hidden Tax: Economic Costs of Marijuana Enforcement in New York, a report by The Bronx Defenders Fundamental Fairness…

New York Law Journal: Panel Addresses Problems With Overwhelmed Summons Courts

In response to the New York City Police Department’s change in approach to low-level marijuana possession offenses, defense attorneys who have worked in the Summons Courts warned that the system is already strained enough. During a New York City Council hearing on Monday, attorneys in several legal service organizations discussed multiple flaws in the summons…

The Bronx Defenders wins its first ever civil jury trial

This October, The Bronx Defenders won its first ever civil jury trial. Our Civil Action Practice Attorneys Karen Maxim and Graham Dumas litigated the case of their client, Ms. Lopez (not her real name), who faced eviction when the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) brought a housing case against her and accused her of using…