RESPONSE TO INACCURATE REPORTING ABOUT BAIL LAWS IN DENIRO BURGLARY CASE NEW YORK, NY – News outlets’ frenzied rush to blame bail reform for the release of a woman accused of multiple residential burglaries, including the residence of actor Robert DeNiro, are basing their story on inaccurate reporting. [...]
PARENTS, ADVOCATES, AND ELECTED OFFICIALS RALLY TO DEMAND EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR NEW YORK CITY FAMILIES Advocates Call on City and State Elected Officials to Pass Family Miranda bills, Ensuring Parents Know Their Rights When ACS Knocks Parents and Impacted Families also Release Report, Narrowing the Front Door, Outlining [...]
SAN MARCOS, TX (December 7, 2022) -- Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS), which has signed a contract with Hays County to open a public defender office, is currently recruiting staff members, including a Senior Trial Attorney, Staff Attorneys, Investigators, a Social Worker, Client Advocate, and Office Assistant. NDS Hays County will [...]
(NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, New York County Defender Services, and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem - New York City public defender organizations - issued the following joint statement in response to Mayor Eric Adams’ address on the mental [...]
Neighborhood Defender Service is Appointed as Hays County’s Public Defender Office SAN MARCOS, TX (November 22, 2022) -- Today the Hays County Commissioners Court voted to approve a five-year contract with Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) to provide legal services as the County’s Public Defender Office. “We [...]
Advocates and Impacted Families Renew Call for Family Miranda Rights Legislation After Uncovered ACS Report Reveals It Knew of Its Own Discriminatory Practices (NEW YORK, NY)— Today, the New York Times reported on a Freedom of Information Law request by The Bronx Defenders, which revealed the New York City [...]
(NEW YORK, NY) – The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, organizations who participated in this weekend’s Mayoral Summit on Criminal Justice, released the following statement: “We thank the Mayor for bringing together leaders in criminal justice from across New York City [...]
(October 8, 2022) The Board of Directors and staff of Neighborhood Defender Service celebrate the life and legacy of our dear friend Albert Woodfox, an activist, author, and a wrongfully convicted survivor who spent 43 years in solitary confinement – thought to be the longest in U.S. history -- at [...]
(DETROIT, MI) - Data from the court system, publicly-available arrest data, and data from Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) together expose a legal system targeting Black Detroiters for arrest and prosecution, advocates explained at a press conference today. The number of arrests on CCW charges has quadrupled since March 2020, [...]
DETROIT — Advocates, defense attorneys and their clients will share data showing a 300 percent spike in arrests for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) during the pandemic, and an extreme racial disparity in the prosecution of these cases. Prosecution for CCW-only arrests has surged 205 percent for Black people [...]
(NEW YORK, NY) - The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, New York County Defender Services, Queens Defenders and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem called on the city to cease recording all phone calls made by New Yorkers incarcerated in local jails. This call comes in [...]
(NEW YORK, NY) – Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, New York County Defender Services, and Queens Defenders released the following statement following the death of William Brown in Department of Correction custody. Mr. Brown was the 16th incarcerated person to die in New [...]
Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** (NEW YORK, NY) – Neighborhood Defender Service celebrated its 30th anniversary last night at the Edison Ballroom in New York. The nationally recognized public defense office, which serves low-income clients in Harlem and Detroit, honored Cardi B, [...]
Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) (NEW YORK, NY) – 17 legislators issued an open letter to Governor Hochul and Mayor de Blasio today demanding an end to involuntarily transfer women, transgender and non-binary people currently incarcerated at Rose M. Singer Center (RMSC) on Rikers Island [...]
Zainab Akbar, Managing Attorney of NDS Harlem's Family Defense Practice, testified before the New York State Assembly on the need to defund the Family Policing System and invest in community-led programs that truly help the most vulnerable families. Read her testimony below *** Thank you for centering impacted people [...]
Contact: Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) Sarah Duggan, Brooklyn Defender Services (SDuggan@bds.org) Emily Whitfield, The Bronx Defenders (Ewhitfield@bronxdefenders.org) Lupe Todd-Medina, New York County Defender Services (LToddmedina@nycds.org) Hettie Powell, Queens Defenders (email@example.com) (NEW YORK, NY) – More than 70 incarcerated [...]
NDS’ Danielle Jackson testified before the New York State Senate on the End Predatory Court Fees Act. She said that court surcahrges are “a regressive tax that plunders money from poor, mostly Black and brown New Yorkers, to pay for the system that over-polices and over-prosecutes them.” Read her [...]
Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** (NEW YORK, NY) – Legislators, public defenders, and impacted New Yorkers gathered outside the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office on Wednesday to demand that all five New York City District Attorneys end their cash [...]
October 5, 2021 Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) (NEW YORK, NY) – 14 legislators issued an open letter to the five New York City District Attorneys today demanding that prosecutors end their cash bail practices and stop sending New Yorkers accused of crimes to a [...]
September 20, 2021 Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) Sarah Duggan, Brooklyn Defender Services (SDuggan@bds.org) Emily Whitfield, The Bronx Defenders (Ewhitfield@bronxdefenders.org ) ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** (NEW YORK, NY) – Department of Correction issued a press release late last night announcing yet another death in its custody. [...]
“It is impossible to overstate how dangerous - and ultimately deadly - the conditions facing New Yorkers on Rikers Island are. Quite simply: DOC is holding people in illegal conditions, denying New Yorkers their rights, and as a result people have died
***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service, firstname.lastname@example.org Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society, RHaskins@legal-aid.org Emily Whitfield, The Bronx Defenders, email@example.com Dan Ball, Brooklyn Defender Services, firstname.lastname@example.org Lupe Todd-Medina, New York County Defender Services (LToddmedina@nycds.org) FOLLOWING A SPATE OF DEATHS CAUSED BY UNSAFE AND ILLEGAL CONDITIONS, OFFICIALS TO [...]
August 16, 2021 Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) Press Office, The Legal Aid Society (email@example.com) Sarah Duggan, Brooklyn Defender Services (SDuggan@bds.org) Emily Whitfield, The Bronx Defenders (Ewhitfield@bronxdefenders.org) Lupe Todd-Medina, New York County Defender Services (LToddmedina@nycds.org) (NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender [...]
August 13, 2021 Contact: Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (SMccann@ndsny.org) Sarah Duggan, Brooklyn Defender Services (SDuggan@bds.org) Emily Whitfield, The Bronx Defenders (Ewhitfield@bronxdefenders.org ) Press Office, The Legal Aid Society (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lupe Todd-Medina, New York County Defender Services (LToddmedina@nycds.org) (NEW YORK, NY) – Gothamist reports that [...]
The practice will focus on representing people negatively impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic who are in danger of losing their home, and will play a pivotal role keeping Detroiters housed.
The pandemic has had devastating effects on students incarcerated on Rikers Island. NDS Education Attorney Ariana Brill testified before New York City Council about what our clients are experiencing and offers recommendations to the city about how to fulfill its obligation to provide education to these students. *** Access [...]
Joint Statement in Response to Reports that NYC Family Court Clerk Used Racial Slurs to Refer to 15-Year-Old (NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, The Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, New York County Defender Services, Lawyers For Children and [...]
Judge sides with public defenders and advocates in suit, says state’s exclusion of incarcerated people from vaccine eligibility is unconstitutional March 29, 2021 CONTACT Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (email@example.com) Arianna Fishman, New York Civil Liberties Union (firstname.lastname@example.org) Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society (email@example.com) Ryan Karerat, [...]
Today, THE CITY reported on an unreleased Board of Correction (BOC) investigation into three deaths that occurred in Department of Correction (DOC) custody last year. The men died at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in conditions exacerbated by a series of DOC failures, the report shows
Mayor de Blasio’s plan for police reform is an insult to public defenders, to organizations working to confront police misconduct, and to Black and brown New Yorkers who have been subject to constant surveillance and frequent police violence.
February 4, 2021 CONTACT Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (firstname.lastname@example.org) Arianna Fishman, New York Civil Liberties Union (email@example.com) Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ryan Karerat, The Bronx Defenders (email@example.com) Daniel Ball, Brooklyn Defender Services (Dball@bds.org) (NEW YORK, NY) – Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, The [...]
As the pandemic’s latest wave rages, with New York City’s COVID positivity rate now at more than 9 percent, the state has two solutions before it, which must be pursued in tandem: vaccinate every incarcerated person and reduce the jail and prison population. The consequences of inaction would be catastrophic.
The plan urges the Biden administration and new Democratic majority in Congress to act swiftly and decisively for immigration justice to undo the unjust, harmful and destructive tactics of the outgoing administration.
Neighborhood Defender Service’s clients are vulnerable in the best of times; facing a crisis, they need us more than ever. And we need you to make our indispensable work possible. Please lend your support on December 1, a global day of giving, by supporting the NDS #GivingTuesday campaign. All [...]
(NEW YORK, NY) – Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) Executive Director Rick Jones issued the following statement regarding the enormous contributions of New York City Mayor David Dinkins to Harlem, to New York, and to public defense: “Public defenders, their clients, families and communities across the country owe a debt [...]
Dear Supporters, Due to the ongoing threat of Covid-19, the Neighborhood Defender Service 30th Anniversary Gala originally scheduled for November 19, 2020 has been postponed until November 17, 2021. The Gala celebrates the work we have accomplished over the past 30 years, with the people who have helped us [...]
New York City Council's Committee on General Welfare hosted a hearing on "Racism in the Child Welfare System." NDS' Helen Montalvan testified on the white supremacist roots of the system, and why the title of "child welfare system" obfuscates the function and history of ACS and other agencies.
Community Demands Independent Investigation into Police Killing of Hakim Littleton, End to Excessive Force (DETROIT, MI) – ACLU of Michigan, Black Legacy Coalition, Detroit and Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Detroit Council of Elders, Detroit Justice Center, East Michigan Environmental Action Coalition, Hush House Black Community Museum, [...]
NDS was featured in Detroit Free Press in an article by Angie Jackson covering NDS Detroit's new Community Intake Practice, which launched Juneteenth 2020. "I think it’s so important that we try to do everything we can as public defenders to try to fight against the racial disparities that [...]
Contact: Katie Schaffer, Center for Community Alternatives, firstname.lastname@example.org Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service, email@example.com At Press Conference, Civil Rights Groups, Health Advocates and Public Defenders Urge Passage of Bill Protecting Confidentiality of Contact Tracing Data NEW YORK—Today, local and national civil rights groups, public health officials and [...]
Dear Partners and Supporters, The murder of George Floyd was unconscionable. So were the murders of Breonna Taylor, of Tony McDade, of Ahmaud Arbery, of Trayvon Martin, of Sandra Bland, of Philando Castile, of Kalief Browder, of Eric Garner and of Malice Green. So were the murders of thousands [...]
Daniel Ball, Brooklyn Defender Services, firstname.lastname@example.org Ryan Karerat, The Bronx Defenders, RKarerat@bronxdefenders.org Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society, RHaskins@legal-aid.org Sam McCann, The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, SMccann@ndsny.org Hettie Powell, Queens Defenders, email@example.com Lupe Todd-Medina, New York County Defender Services, LToddmedina@nycds.org (NEW YORK, NY) – Brooklyn Defender [...]
Sam McCann, Neighborhood Defender Service, (703) 867-1972, (SMccann@ndsny.org) Lillian Diallo, Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar Association, (313) 719-8899 Casey Rocheteau, Detroit Justice Center, (313) 499-0826, (firstname.lastname@example.org) Desiree M. Ferguson, National Conference of Black Lawyers, (313) 319-8259, (email@example.com) Cait De Mott Grady, National Lawyers Guild Michigan, (607) 216-2043 (firstname.lastname@example.org) [...]
Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, Queens Defenders, and New York County Defender Services issued the following statement on New York City Police Department (NYPD) brutality
This week, NDS Managing Director addressed a joint session of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate about how COVID-19 compounds the injustices our neighbors and clients in upper Manhattan face every single day.
This March, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem welcomed Managing Director Alice Fontier to helm our office. In her first weeks on the job, she worked across our practices to fight for justice for our clients who were under extreme threat. In doing so, she witnessed firsthand the immense disparity [...]
All of our communities face this same elevated threat, and NDS has fought for justice in every forum. Our family defense practice has left no stone unturned in its efforts to reunite families during this already stressful time, when they need each other more than ever. Our immigration defense team has sought to stand in the way of a deportation machine that seeks to churn on amid a pandemic. And our civil team has fought to keep our clients and their families safely housed.
On Tuesday, May 5, Neighborhood Defender Service is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. Our clients are vulnerable in the best of times; facing a crisis, they need us more than ever. And we need you. Give to NDS today and make our indispensable work possible.
By Chantá Parker, Amanda Alexander and Jonathan Sacks Originally published in Detroit Free Press Tens of thousands of people are held in Michigan jails and prisons that leave them particularly vulnerable to public health crises. Every day that passes during the COVID-19 outbreak puts them at heightened risk — [...]
Emily Ponder Williams, Managing Attorney of NDS' Civil Defense Practice, testified before the New York City Council's Committee on Civil and Human Rights this week on amendments to the NYC Human Rights Law. The amendments would prohibit discrimination against New Yorkers on the basis of open criminal charges, violations, [...]
This week, NDS Detroit Managing Director Chantá Parker spoke with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson about the arrival of world-class public defense in Wayne County. Henderson hosts American Black Journal, which airs on Detroit’s PBS affiliate. He sat down with Parker and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans to discuss [...]
Dear Friends, It is a challenging time for public defense. Our communities from Harlem to Detroit are under threat. Poverty is persecuted at the subway turnstile, at bail hearings, and in family court. Our neighbors are threatened with eviction while public housing is under siege. Protections for immigrants are [...]
On Monday, November 18th, Neighborhood Defender Service welcomed the leading minds in the criminal legal community for its annual benefit, Conversations with NDS. This years event, titled Mobilizing Against Mass Incarceration, brought together Albert Woodfox, a member of the Angola Three who spent 43 years in solitary confinement, and [...]
NDS Parent Advocate Ayami Hatanaka testified before the Progessive Caucus of City Council last week on the impact of the State Central Registry (SCR) on Harlem Parents. The caucus has put forward an ACS Accountability Package, and Hatanaka highlighted the necessity for all parents to have representation at SCR [...]
(New York, NY) -- Neighborhood Defender Service, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, 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 hold a special meeting this Thursday (Oct. [...]
By Sam McCann For decades, Albert Woodfox has fought relentlessly against solitary confinement, but that work has taken a different shape since February 2016. That’s when Woodfox was released from prison after spending more than 43 years in isolation for 23 hours a day, mostly in Louisiana’s notorious Angola [...]
By Amanda Anger, Social Worker, NDS Originally Published by Truthout My client’s 4-year-old son was locked away from her, held in a back room by police officers in the Manhattan Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in New York City. When I asserted her right as a mother to refuse a [...]
Neighborhood Defender Service Detroit hosted an Open House for its new staff, marking one month before the new office takes its first case in Wayne County. The event featured remarks from NDS Detroit Managing Director Chantá Parker and discussion among NDS Detroit’s incoming staff. Parker welcomed her team and [...]
Today, Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) launched a new website at www.NeighborhoodDefender.org, that will allow it to better serve clients and advocate for justice beyond the courtroom. The site debuts alongside a new logo that emphasizes “the power of public defense” to secure justice for our clients and communities.
Excerpt. Full article available on the Sixth Amendment Center's blog. The State of Michigan must fulfill its Fourteenth Amendment responsibility to ensure the effective assistance of counsel to all indigent defendants who face the possible loss of their liberty in criminal and delinquency cases, as guaranteed by the Sixth [...]
A Manhattan Supreme Court justice has ordered the sealing of marijuana possession convictions for more than 300 people. Her order was the result of a successful class action petition brought jointly by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Legal Action Center, Community Service Society, The Legal Aid Society, New York County Defender Services, Neighborhood Defender Service and pro bono counsel Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. The case asked the court to seal these criminal records under New York Criminal Procedure Law § 160.59.
By Rick Jones and Cornelius Cornelssen Click to read full article. Despite what courtroom dramas on television and celebrity travails might lead you to believe, the number of individuals who actually exercise their right to take a criminal charge to trial is disturbingly small. Studies show that a mere three [...]
June 13, 2019 DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Today, Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) signed a contract with Wayne County, Michigan to open a new public defender office in Detroit and represent clients in 25% of adult felony cases. The signing follows a unanimous county commission vote approving the deal. The new [...]
Last week The New York Times reported on the taxi industry’s deplorable practice of preying on low-income drivers by charging exorbitant rates for a taxi medallion, enabling a network of Ponzi Scheme lenders. But unfair lending practices are not the only way the industry profits from low-income drivers. Through a [...]
Last week, NDS traveled to Albany to fight for families alongside fellow defenders, activists and the people of our communities. The message to legislators: pass two critical laws meant to preserve family bonds and end the collateral consequences caused by child service investigations. In Harlem and neighborhoods across New York, [...]
NEW YORK – Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) stands in opposition to Mayor de Blasio’s plan to expand New York City’s cooperation with Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE). The plan, announced last week, would increase the number of immigrants that the city turns over to ICE, and further undermine the [...]
As New York considers legalizing marijuana, the City Council is beginning to reckon with the widespread damage done by the unjust, unequal enforcement of criminalization. That damage extends to families: as the Council heard on Wednesday, marijuana plays an outsized role in child neglect cases that can lead to tearing [...]
NDS appeared in the New York Daily News alongside other defender organizations calling for immediate implementation of the criminal legal reforms included in the 2020 New York State Budget ALBANY — The wheels of justice turn slowly. At least that’s what court officials are telling advocates calling on prosecutors [...]
By Rick Jones, Executive Director, Neighborhood Defender Service New York’s new state budget promises to bring a suite of long-overdue changes to our criminal legal system. The agreement announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday substantially reforms our bail system and takes steps to protect our clients’ constitutional right [...]
Representatives from International Legal Foundation-Nepal, (ILF-Nepal) including from the Supreme Court of Nepal and Public Defender Society of Nepal (PDS-Nepal), visited the NDS Harlem office today for a discussion on the global challenges and strategies for providing public defense to poor, marginalized and vulnerable persons.
NDS Executive Director Rick Jones spoke at The Third International Conference on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems in Tbilisi, Georgia on community-based public defender services and the contract model of legal aid delivery. He also addressed the role of plea bargaining on the fairness of criminal [...]
Originally published in the July 2018 Issue of The Champion By Rick Jones Earlier this year, news of New York’s falling crime rate gained national attention. Gone are the days of the late 1980s and early 1990s with their spiking murder rates and a war on drugs raging. By [...]
NDS Executive Director Rick Jones co-chaired the NACDL Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction, which recently released the report: Collateral Damage: America’s Failure to Forgive or Forget in the War on Crime – A Roadmap to Restore Rights and Status After Arrest and Conviction. Excerpt [...]
Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System is a critically important and inclusive examination of the profound racial and ethnic disparities in America’s criminal justice system, and concrete ways to overcome them. This conference report prepared by Consultant Tanya [...]
Winner of the NAPD Defender of Justice Award for Outstanding Work in Public Defense.