Americans Favor ‘Rehabilitation’ Over Jail Time, Survey Finds, Crime Report, Mar. 16, 2017
Heated Discussion in Genesee County Over Indigent Defense Grant, Daily News, Mar. 15, 2017
New Report: Criminal Justice Reform Must Address the Needs of Women, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Blog, Mar. 8, 2017
Lynne Stewart, Lawyer Imprisoned in Terrorism Case, Dies at 77, NY Times, Mar. 7, 2017
National Registry of Exonerations Releases Two Enlightening Reports, Wrongful Convictions Blog, Mar. 7, 2017
Legal Advocates Call on Gov. Cuomo to Fully Fund Public Defenders, Legis. Gazette, Mar. 6, 2017
NYSDA Veterans Defense Program Releases 2016 Annual Report. In 2016, the VDP assisted 308 veterans and trained 622 public defenders representing veterans in New York State’s criminal and family court systems. In the 164 cases where the VDP attorneys provided direct representation or substantial legal assistance, an encouraging 62% of veteran clients received treatment.
During Public Defense Week, Work for Major Reform Continues. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), NYSDA, and others pressed for public defense reform at the beginning of Public Defense Week (March 13-18) at a statewide rally and advocacy day. The Justice Equality Act, requiring full state reimbursement of local public defense costs, has been reintroduced in the Assembly (A.1903) after the Governor’s New Year's Eve veto following the Act’s unanimous passage last June. Supporters of theJustice Equality movementare calling for the Act to be passed in the state budget. NYSDA Executive Director Jonathan E. Gradess spoke at the March 13th rally. NYSDA’s budget testimony for a January state budget hearing is availablehere; it calls for the Legislature to fund NYSDA’s many services to public defense providers across the state, to reject the Governor’s call to reduce visitation at maximum security prisons, and to re-pass the Justice Equality Act.
Budget Increase Sought for Downstate Veterans Defense Program Office. At the January and February budget hearings, Art Cody, Deputy Director of NYSDA's Veterans Defense Program (VDP); Bob Becker of NYS Council of Veterans Organizations; Kirby Hannon and John Lewis of VFW; and Linda McKinnis of Disabled American Veterans, all spoke about the unique needs of justice-involved veterans and the critical need for the VDP to create a Downstate Office in NYC to better assist such veterans. For more information, see the VDP brochure.