The Center for Holistic Defense Announces Technical Assistance Winners

Bronx, New York—May 16, 2011—The Center for Holistic Defense (“The Center”), a project of The Bronx Defenders, in collaboration with The Center for Court Innovation, is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of The Holistic Defense for Public Defender Offices Technical Assistance Project.

2011 Participants of The Holistic Defense Technical Assistance Project

Harris County Courts—Texas
Tribal Defenders for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes—Montana
The Committee for Public Counsel Services—Massachusetts

The Harris County Public Defender’s office in Houston, Texas; the Tribal Defenders for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Pablo, Montana; and the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the statewide public defender agency for Massachusetts, will all receive six-months of step-by-step guidance and concrete assistance in the practice of Holistic Defense. This assistance will include staff training, site visits, and live demonstrations by Center staff and advocates at The Bronx Defenders. The work of The Center for Holistic Defense is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Holistic Defense is an innovative, client-centered, and interdisciplinary model of public defense that addresses both the circumstances driving poor people into the criminal justice system as well as the devastating consequences of criminal justice involvement by offering criminal and related civil legal representation, social work support, and advocacy in the community.

According to Ann Sherwood, the Managing Attorney of the Tribal Defenders for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, securing this technical assistance will “enhance our efforts at addressing the problems that bring our clients into the criminal justice system by facilitating access to services and the wealth of culture and tradition available to tribal members.”

Mr. Alex Sierck, The Center’s Project Director, noted that the inclusion for the first time this year of a tribal defender office “represents not just the widespread national interest in Holistic Defense and its appeal across diverse communities as an innovative public defense model but also the particular compatibility of Holistic Defense with the theory and practice of tribal justice systems.”

“We are thrilled to receive such a high number of quality proposals this year, reflective of a growing national interest among public defenders to provide Holistic Defense, said Robin Steinberg, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders. “We wish we had greater resources to meet the demand for this innovative approach.”

If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website or contact the Center’s project director by email at To learn more about our technical assistance recipients, please go to Harris County Courts,Tribal Defenders for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and Committee for Counsel Services.

Contact: Mr. Alex Sierck
Project Director
The Center for Holistic Defense, a project of The Bronx Defenders
860 Courtlandt Avenue
Bronx, NY 10451
718.838.7857 (direct)