Breaking News

Judge Attacks NYPD Practice of Seizing Teens' DNA Without Parental Consent, The Appeal, January 10, 2019

Criminal Justice Reform Groups to Launch "Days of Action" to Press for Sweeping Changes, Daily News , January 9, 2019

Disabled Prisoners Decry Treatment in New York's Prison System, The Appeal, January 8, 2019

NY Court of Appeals Eyes Mental Health Patients' Right to Counsel, NYLJ, January 8, 2019

Demonizing ‘Crack Mothers,’ Victimizing Their Children, New York Times, January 5, 2019


NYSDA is Hiring!


Death of Ken Strutin. With deep sorrow, NYSDA has announced the death of Ken Strutin, our Director of Legal Information Services. We recognize the continuing void that Ken’s death leaves here and in the lives of his family, friends, and colleagues outside our Association. Ken's contribution to our work has been incalculable, his assistance to and education of lawyers across the state immeasurable, and his concern for and efforts to help people in prison fighting for their legal rights inestimable.

Certainty, Uncertainties in 2019. Facing the uncertainties of a new year, NYSDA remains certain of its mission—to improve the quality and scope of publicly supported legal representation for those who cannot afford counsel. The coming months promise to bring opportunities and challenges for NYSDA and for the public defense providers and clients we serve. The need to ensure client-centered representation statewide presents ongoing challenges. We will meet this year's challenges by working with our members—join today!—and with chief defenders across New York, the many state and local officials who recognize the value of quality public defense services, the Indigent Legal Services Office (ILS), bar associations, and all who support justice.

VDP Helps Veterans from Long Island Sound to Lake Erie. NYSDA's Veteran's Defense Program (VDP) starts 2019 with a new office at Touro Law School in Central Islip staffed by Staff Attorney Blair Hill, Veterans Case Manager Dennis Haskamp, and Assistant Program Coordinator Barbara Lombardi. The new Long Island office advocates for a treatment-oriented approach for justice-involved veterans on Long Island. Across the state, VDP continues to offer assistance to public defense providers representing veterans, especially those with the invisible wounds of war, such as PTSD. NYSDA looks forward to continued support for VDP from the Legislature and Governor. Watch for a report of VDP's 2018 activities, updating the progress noted it its 2017 Annual Report.


CLE: Providing Relevant, Affordable, and Convenient Training. The first week in January brought NYSDA's first Continuing Legal Education event of the year: "Best Practices in Early Entry Representation," co-sponsored with the Schoharie County Assigned Counsel Plan. Watch for announcements of other regional CLE programs, including the 33rd Annual New York Metropolitan Trainer, to be held at NYU Law School on March 9. Check the NY Statewide Public Defense Training Calendar for upcoming CLE programs, from both NYSDA and others.

Jay Coleman's Current Struggles, and Contributions, Chronicled. A New Year's article by Paul Grodhahl in the Albany Times Union describes the current battle with cancer that Jay Coleman, Chair of NYSDA's Client Advisory Board, faces. It describes some of Jay's work as the founding mentor of the prisoner pre-entry mentoring program, and the current outpouring of support for him and his family, including a GoFundMe appeal. Before his illness, Jay received a number of awards recognizing his achievements, including Citizens Against Recidivism Inc.'s Eddie Ellis Life Time Achievement Award in 2010 and a Client Contribution Award from TimeBanks USA and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Client Policy Group in 2015.

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