The Defenders

Longreads profiles The Bronx Defenders.

“The quality of the lawyering among public defenders in New York City is universally understood to be very high; that wasn’t Robin Steinberg’s concern. She saw inadequacy built into the very structure of public defense. In the nineties, she noticed that more of the clients she was defending were being arrested for pettier crimes than when she started in the eighties, and the effects of their criminal cases reached into unexpected aspects of their lives. In addition to facing the usual fines or jail time, they were being deported, denied student loans, or evicted from public housing. Many of them lost food stamps and custody of their children, and had their licenses and certifications revoked…”

Read the rest of the article in Longreads.