New Yorkers for Justice

New Yorkers for Justice A newsletter, digital publication, and online community that features the criminal justice reform advocates fighting to fix our broken justice system.

"It’s been heartening over the last 10 years to see both NYC and the state move in a direction that I think is very impo...
04/17/2019
Christopher Watler: “All work you do is essentially prevention work”

"It’s been heartening over the last 10 years to see both NYC and the state move in a direction that I think is very important, because when people leave incarceration, it really is a golden moment to turn the tide."

Our interview with Christopher Watler of the Center for Employment Opportunities on why immediate employment is so critical to successful reentry, and how it prevents recidivism.

CEO New York State Executive Director Christopher Watler on the challenges of re-entry for the formerly incarcerated

New Yorkers for Justice interviewed Rabia Chaudry about her work on wrongful conviction cases, the case of Adnan Syed, w...
03/26/2019
Rabia Chaudry: “It’s almost always about poor investigations.”

New Yorkers for Justice interviewed Rabia Chaudry about her work on wrongful conviction cases, the case of Adnan Syed, which is the subject of a documentary on HBO this month and was the subject of the Serial podcast, and her own podcast, Undisclosed Podcast, which reports on wrongful convictions. Thank you, Rabia, for taking the time to talk to us! https://medium.com/new-yorkers-for-justice/rabia-chaudry-its-almost-always-about-poor-investigations-c754c5418c8

Attorney and Undisclosed pod co-producer Rabia Chaudry on how and why wrongful convictions happen, and the case of Adnan Syed

New Yorkers for Justice spoke with Reverend Dr. Mary Foulke, the rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Harlem, about ...
02/05/2019
Dr. Mary Foulke: The community’s basic stand was, we’ve asked you for help, and you gave us a raid.

New Yorkers for Justice spoke with Reverend Dr. Mary Foulke, the rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Harlem, about the challenges and rewards of building community in neighborhood heavily affected by gentrification and over-policing. You can read our interview with her here: https://medium.com/new-yorkers-for-justice/dr-mary-foulke-the-communitys-basic-stand-was-we-ve-asked-you-for-help-and-you-gave-us-a-raid-81d5f6edbf4c

Episcopalian minister Rev. Dr. Mary Foulke on the challenges and rewards of building community in West Harlem

01/28/2019
Dan Quart

Thursday night's criminal justice panel at Mount Olivet in Harlem will be very worthwhile!

Please join this Thu. Jan. 31, 7pm at Mount Olivet Baptist Church for a social justice community forum with Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis, Drug Policy Alliance's Dionna King, Just Leadership's Katie Schaffer, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund's Peter Goldberg, Assemblymember Inez E. Dickens, Sen. Brian Benjamin and myself.

This week's New Yorkers for Justice interview with with Gideon Orion Oliver, the civil rights lawyer who fought to roll ...
12/09/2018
Gideon Oliver: “This was really something new — police departments trying to appear as prosecutor”

This week's New Yorkers for Justice interview with with Gideon Orion Oliver, the civil rights lawyer who fought to roll back a policy that allowed the NYPD’s legal bureau to prosecute Black Lives Matter protestors. We spoke to Gideon about the suit he filed against the city to stop it and the structural problems that still endanger the civil liberties of activists: https://medium.com/new-yorkers-for-justice/gideon-oliver-this-was-really-something-new-police-departments-trying-to-appear-as-prosecutor-eaf588020ad8

Civil rights attorney Gideon Oliver on his fight to protect the rights of protestors being prosecuted by the NYPD’s legal bureau

If you haven't read Reginald Dwayne Betts's gripping personal story of his rise from prison to defense attorney, and the...
10/22/2018
Could an Ex-Convict Become an Attorney? I Intended to Find Out

If you haven't read Reginald Dwayne Betts's gripping personal story of his rise from prison to defense attorney, and the many barriers that block second chances after reentry, please make time because you won't forget it. #ICYMI

After serving time for a crime I committed at 16, I discovered how hard it is for a felon to get a second chance.

The rich and connected get very different justice than poor New Yorkers arrested for low-level offenses.
10/21/2018
Dan Quart

The rich and connected get very different justice than poor New Yorkers arrested for low-level offenses.

The Trump family has engaged in massive fraud under the nose of Cy Vance—who overruled his own staff and declined to prosecute Ivanka and Don Jr. after their lawyer donated to his campaign.

This ProPublica/WNYC investigation is eye-opening.

We spoke with Marissa Hoechstetter, a sexual assault survivor whose assailant got a plea deal and no jail time after the...
10/01/2018
Marissa Hoechstetter: “Vance’s office has a pervasive culture of discounting survivors.

We spoke with Marissa Hoechstetter, a sexual assault survivor whose assailant got a plea deal and no jail time after the Manhattan DA’s office incorrectly told her that her case had fallen outside of the statute of limitations.

Marissa was failed by Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s office. Serial predator Dr. Robert A. Hadden went free despite 19 accusers and a lengthy history of this behavior. She has been incredibly brave to continue to tell her story.

This has been a hard week for survivors of sexual assault. It’s so important that women who are assaulted are listened to, and believed, especially in the context of our judicial system, which should protect survivors, and too often fails them.

Believing women doesn’t just mean acknowledgement; it means fighting for them and not siding with sexual predators because they’re powerful or have money and resources. It means not allowing campaign donations and personal connections to influence whether a prosecution moves forward. Treating sexual assault survivors this way is unacceptable. The DA’s office can and should do better.

Victim advocate and sexual assault survivor Marissa Hoechstetter on her case and how the Manhattan District Attorney’s office needs to…

08/13/2018
Dan Quart

It was so moving to hear the stories of exonerees, wrongly prosecuted or convicted, calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation creating a Commission for Prosecutorial Oversight. Groups including Brooklyn Defender Services, Vocal New york, Innocence Project, Katal Center, The Legal Aid Society in New York City, It Could Happen To You - Criminal Justice Reform Group and the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation were joined by Hudson, NY Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga, the bill's Assembly sponsor Assemblyman N Nick Perry, Assemblyman Dan Quart, and Senator Jamaal T. Bailey in support of the legislation sponsored in the Senate by Senator John A. DeFrancisco. Watch the full event here!

Standing with exonerees to call on Gov. Cuomo to sign the bill now on his desk to create the much-needed independent New York State Commission on Prosecutorial Oversight #ProsecutorAccountabilityNow

In our third edition of New Yorkers for Justice, we interviewed Lava Records CEO and criminal justice reform advocate Ja...
07/20/2018
Jason Flom: “I just felt like I had to do something”

In our third edition of New Yorkers for Justice, we interviewed Lava Records CEO and criminal justice reform advocate Jason Flom. "There’s a great saying in the bail reform movement," said Flom. "Which is, a system in which Sandra Bland goes to jail and Robert Durst goes home is a broken system."
https://medium.com/new-yorkers-for-justice/jason-flom-i-just-felt-like-i-had-to-do-something-d8705ee1a43

The legendary CEO and founder of Lava Records and criminal justice reform advocate discusses his work with The Innocence Project and the…

In New Yorkers For Justice Vol. 2: The Price of Freedom, The Bail Project's inspiring Robin Steinberg—who founded The Br...
06/27/2018
Robin Steinberg: Poverty Is Not A Crime

In New Yorkers For Justice Vol. 2: The Price of Freedom, The Bail Project's inspiring Robin Steinberg—who founded The Bronx Defenders and The Bronx Freedom Fund—tells us poverty is not a crime:

"We’ll begin solving the problem of mass incarceration when we take responsibility for what we’ve allowed to happen, and what we’ve allowed this system to do to people of color and low-income communities for generations."

Human stories must drive reform and change.

Dan Quart
06/20/2018
Dan Quart

Dan Quart

Very informative analysis. Two big takeaways:

1. Who we elect (or the Mayor appoints) as judges matters in bail hearings.
2. Cy Vance gets bail on nearly 6 out of 10 felony cases.

The era of mass incarceration is not over.Shocking new Vera Institute of Justice report shows that in many places, espec...
06/14/2018
The era of mass incarceration isn't over. This new report shows why.

The era of mass incarceration is not over.

Shocking new Vera Institute of Justice report shows that in many places, especially rural areas jails are growing even as prisons shrink.

#cjreform has to address the whole picture.

"Mass incarceration has a different face."

06/13/2018
Dan Quart

Dan Quart

Shielding misconduct and abuse perpetuates a culture of secrecy within the NYPD and puts New York at the very bottom when it comes to police transparency.

I'm proud to join the sponsor of this bill, Assemblymember Danny O'Donnell, as well as Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), JustLeadershipUSA, and The Legal Aid Society's Cynthia Conti-Cook to put an end to this injustice and #repeal50a.

Dan Quart
06/12/2018
Dan Quart

Dan Quart

It's unthinkable for a city that prides itself on its progressive leadership to expand by 70% the NYPD's targeting of people of color for criminal prosecution, using an arbitrary "gang database."

Vol. 1 of our new newsletter covering #cjreform focuses on the transition to freedom, with Reverend Vivian Nixon and Mel...
05/23/2018
Vol. 1: Transition to Freedom: Julio Medina, Rev. Vivian Nixon and other #cjreform voices

Vol. 1 of our new newsletter covering #cjreform focuses on the transition to freedom, with Reverend Vivian Nixon and Melanie Steinhardt of College & Community Fellowship (which helps women with criminal convictions earn college degrees), Mt. Zion AME's Reverend Jo-An Owings, and Exodus Transitional Community's Julio Medina.

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It was so moving to hear the stories of exonerees, wrongly prosecuted or convicted, calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation creating a Commission for Prosecutorial Oversight. Groups including Brooklyn Defender Services, Vocal New york, Innocence Project, Katal Center, The Legal Aid Society in New York City, It Could Happen To You - Criminal Justice Reform Group and the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation were joined by Hudson, NY Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga, Assemblyman N Nick Perry, Assemblyman Dan Quart, and Senator Jamaal T. Bailey in support of the legislation sponsored in the Senate by Senator John A. DeFrancisco. Watch the full event here!
We also need to overturn the horrific doctrine of judicial immunity based on the SCOTUS case of Stump v. Sparkman which is still binding precedent. NO ONE SHOULD BE ABOVE THE LAW and that includes judges.