2019 Community-Oriented Defender (COD) Network Conference 
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Wednesday, June 5 • 7:30pm - 9:00pm
The Role of Public Defenders in the Movement to Close Rikers Island

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Space is limited in each Supper Club and requires a separate sign-up. There is no fee, but you will be responsible for your own food and drink.
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This Supper Club will take place at the Pratt Street Ale House, 206 W Pratt Street.

As a result of years of advocacy and organizing, New York City is on the verge of an achievement that very few thought would happen in our lifetime--the closing of Rikers Island. In order to make it possible to close Rikers and move to smaller, borough-based jails, however, the jail population must be drastically reduced and sufficient support garnered in each borough for the successful implementation of the borough-based plan. To further our commitment to decarceration and the closure of Rikers, The Bronx Defenders has launched the BxD Liberty Project, which aims to use our experience as a holistic, client-centered, and community-based public defender office to ensure that this new vision of criminal justice becomes a reality. Advocates will lay out our work to date and lead a discussion about the opportunities and challenges presented by the Liberty Project. The discussion will focus on advancing decarceration strategies in the court house, in the state house, and in the community, and will highlight some of the challenges we've faced, including balancing calls for jail abolition with incrementalist approaches to change; defending the presumption of innocence while contending with political realities; and reconciling our role as a public defender office with our role as a Bronx community member and stakeholder. Finally, we will offer recommendations about how to effectively center our clients' voices in criminal justice policy reform debates.


Justine Olderman

Executive Director, The Bronx Defenders
Justine Olderman graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from New York University School of Law. While at N.Y.U., Justine was the managing editor of the Review of Law and Social Change and was awarded the George P. Faulk Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship. She spent... Read More →

Carmen Pineiro

Director of Organizing and Community Engagement, The Bronx Defenders
avatar for Scott Levy

Scott Levy

Chief Policy Counsel, Bronx Defenders
As Chief Policy Counsel, Scott oversees The Bronx Defenders public policy agenda, coordinating and advancing policy reform work across the criminal, family, social work, immigration, and civil practices.  He supervises an interdisciplinary team of advocates working on legislative... Read More →

Wednesday June 5, 2019 7:30pm - 9:00pm EDT
Pratt Street Ale House 206 W Pratt Street

Attendees (2)