NYSDA advocates for the provision of high-quality public defense services in New York criminal and family law matters and encourages innovative practices, such as “client-centered advocacy.”
NYSDA’s work to improve public defense programs resulted in the creation of the State’s Indigent Legal Services Office (ILS). NYSDA assists the ILS in its statutory duty to evaluate defense services and distribute state funding, and serves on ILS Working Groups to create statewide standards.
Education: Presentations at state and local legislative hearings, courts, community meetings, media events and other venues provide a deep analysis of criminal justice and family court issues and recommendations for reform.
Expert Advice: NYSDA attorneys are appointed to a variety of statewide committees, including the NYS Office of Court Administration Committee on Criminal Procedure Law, First Department Indigent Defense Organization Oversight Committee, NYS Bar Association Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation, and the Indigent Legal Services Office Advisory Group.
Client Advisory Board: The Board, including formerly incarcerated individuals and criminal justice professionals, provides advice and created Client-Centered Representation Standards that have been modeled in other states.
Special Projects: The Veterans Defense Program, Public Defense Investigation Support Project, Restorative Justice Program, Prisoner Pre-entry Mentoring Pilot Project and other projects advocate for innovative, client-centered reforms in the criminal justice system.
Reform Campaigns: NYSDA works closely with other organizations on various reform initiatives, including the creation of a state-funded, statewide public defense system under an Independent Public Defense Commission.
194 Washington Ave., Suite 500, Albany, NY 12210