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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Policy & Community

Deb Lolai Presents Testimony at City Council Oversight Hearing on the Gender Equity in NYC: Access, Resources, and Support for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming New Yorkers

New York City Council Committee on Women and Gender Equity Oversight Hearing on the Gender Equity in NYC: Access, Resources, and Support for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming New Yorkers.   November 27, 2019 Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Deborah Lolai, Supervising Attorney of LGBTQ Defense Practice My name is Deborah Lolai and I am the…

Blackstar News: NY Transit And Police Accountability Advocates To Governor Cuomo: Invest In MTA Service Upgrades Not More MTA Police

“As New York City looks toward implementing historic criminal justice reforms, the addition of 500 cops to deal with what is clearly an economic and social justice issue is unnecessary, cruel and counterproductive,” said Scott Levy, Chief Policy Counsel at The Bronx Defenders. “Every day, The Bronx Defenders and other public defenders citywide witness the devastating…

Emma Ketteringham Presented Testimony at Hearing on Family Involvement in the Child Welfare and Family Court Systems

Assembly Standing Committee on Children and Families Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues November 21, 2019  Hearing on Family Involvement in the Child Welfare and Family Court Systems Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Emma S. Ketteringham, Managing Director, Family Defense Practice Muriel Bell, Policy Advocate, Family Defense Practice Miriam Mack, Policy Counsel, Family…

Lenora Easter Presented Testimony at City Council Hearing re: Body Worn Cameras

New York City Council Committee on Public Safety  Hearing re: Body Worn Cameras November 18, 2019 Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Lenora Easter, Team Leader of the Early Defense Team, Criminal Defense Practice BxD expresses our qualified support for Int. No. 1136, which requires the NYPD to track and report important information about…

Kristen Anderson Presented Testimony at Hearing on Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) and Pre-Trial Services

The New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Codes and Standing Committee on Corrections Hearing on Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) and Pre-Trial Services November 14, 2019 Testimony of Kristen Anderson, Senior Criminal Defense Social Worker THE BRONX DEFENDERS I first want to thank the members of the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes and the members…

New York Magazine: There Wil Be No Turning Back on Facial Recognition – It’s not perfect yet, but it’s already changing the world

“If Larry Griffin II’s story typifies a best-case use of facial recognition for law enforcement, Kaitlin Jackson, a public defense attorney with the Bronx Defenders, tells me one that exposes its drawbacks. Jackson represented a man who’d been arrested for the theft of socks from a T.J. Maxx store in February 2018, supposedly after brandishing a…

The Indypendent: Four New Jails For $10 Billion: Now is the Time For NYC to Invest in Communities Not Cages

“Some former members of the Close Rikers movement such as the Bronx Defenders and VOCAL-NY pulled out because they felt that the plan lacked any real investment in new community-based services such as affordable housing and community-based mental health programs. They also objected to spending money on building institutions that they view as fundamentally harmful.”…

The Riverdale Press: Want to legalize marijuana? It must be fair

“Those neighborhoods have been targeted and have suffered in the war on marijuana,” said Eli Northrup, a policy counsel for Bronx Defenders, a non-profit that provides criminal defense from its base in Melrose. “If and when marijuana becomes legal, we need to repair those communities.” “Even small marijuana convictions can prevent people from getting public…

Human Rights Watch: 128 Rights Groups Urge New York Legislature to Implement Pretrial Reforms

“Despite the fact that a majority of New Yorkers and State elected officials support the new pretrial laws, prosecutors continue to engage in a coordinated strategy to subvert the pretrial reforms before they have even gone into effect by spreading fear and misinformation. The new bail, discovery and speedy trial laws were carefully and deliberately crafted over the course…

Amsterdam News: Report: Solitary confinement increased in New York

“The Bronx Defenders want the Board of Corrections to stop waiting to initiate the rule-making process so New Yorkers can weigh in because it’s a crisis. “Hundreds of people are held in solitary confinement in our city’s jails every year,” read the Bronx Defenders’ statement. “The torturous conditions devastate the people we serve and the…

News12: New law to eliminate cash bail, release prisoners

“A new state law goes into effect in January that will eliminate cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. New York City has identified nearly 900 people who are currently behind bars awaiting trial that can apply to have their bail lifted and be freed.” Watch the full video here

New York Daily News: Three strikes but still not out: Inside the Bronx ‘Opioid Court’ where addicts get extra swings at recovery

“Avery McNeil, the alternatives to incarceration specialist at the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit legal organization, praised OAR for setting up a pathway that allows people to get addiction treatment without first copping to a crime that could stay on their permanent record regardless of their recovery. “That’s really important for our clients who are facing employment,…

Jessica Prince Presented Testimony at Hearing re: Progessive Caucus ACS Bills

New York City Council  Committee on General Welfare October 31, 2019  Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Emma S. Ketteringham, Managing Director, Family Defense Practice Jessica Prince, Policy Counsel, Family Defense Practice Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of New York City Council’s Child Welfare Package. The stakes could not be…

NYC Public Defender Orgs Statement on Proposed NYC BOC Rules on Solitary Confinement

Defender Organizations Demand an End to Solitary Confinement, Urge NYC Board of Correction to Take Action FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NEW YORK — The Bronx Defenders, Neighborhood Defender Service, Brooklyn Defender Services, and New York County Defender Services call on the New York City Board of Correction (DOC) to take action to end the torture of solitary confinement. The Board will…

Law360: Closing Rikers May Pave New Path For Mentally Ill Inmates

“New York City’s move to close the notorious prison Rikers Island could be an important step in making sure people suffering from mental illnesses, who make up half of America’s incarcerated population of 2.3 million, aren’t lost in the criminal justice system, according to speakers at an event on the problems of mass incarceration… Roberts…

NY1: Advocates Rally to Repeal 50A Law

The Police Commissioner supports making such records public as long as disciplinary hearings are completed and wrongdoing is confirmed. “But we also know that the police officers who have a history of compliant continue to police these communities. They continue to patrol these streets. But, the public has been deprived from getting any information about…

Scott Levy Presented Testimony at Hearing on the Implementation of Discovery Reform

The New York State Senate Standing Committee on Codes Hearing on the Implementation of Pre-Trial Reform September 9, 2019 Testimony of Scott D. Levy, Chief Policy Counsel THE BRONX DEFENDERS This spring, New York passed historic comprehensive discovery reform.  BxD applauds the New York State Assembly, Senate, and the Governor — Senator Bailey and Assembly…