Shelby County Public Defenders Begin Work with Bronx Defenders

The Bronx Defenders is working with the Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender in Memphis for the next six months to a build a lasting framework centered on holistic representation of their clients.

Check out their write-up of their trip to the Bronx:

Shelby County Public Defenders Begin Work with Bronx Defenders: Grant focuses on six month partnership to develop a model for client-centered lawyering

New lobby of the Bronx Defenders that welcomes people in need of help with criminal and civil cases, as well as other social services and employment. It was about this time of year more than 15 years ago, when a few attorneys, a social worker, an investigator, an office manager and a receptionist banded together in the Bronx. Their mission – change the way poor people receive criminal defense. This small, dedicated group has since grown into an office of more than 200 people working to redefine public defense in their neighborhood.

But their influence has not ended in New York City. The Bronx Defenders are also answering a call to reform public defense across the country. With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bronx Defenders have established the Center for Holistic Defense, a resource for public defender offices. The Bronx model of holistic defense combines aggressive legal advocacy with other focused services meant to address underlying problems that can trap poor people in the criminal justice system.

Since 2010, the center has selected a handful of public defender offices to receive technical assistance and support as they develop their own holistic defense efforts. The Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender was chosen as one of six offices for 2013.

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