Pairing old-school defense with attention to real-life problems gets people out of jail.
Profile (New York)
November 12, 2018
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Tags: Holistic Defense
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society (New York City), Bronx Defenders
On any given day in this nation’s courtrooms, there’s a parade of defendants struggling with homelessness, mental illness or drug addiction.
That is the fundamental insight of “holistic defense,” a form of legal representation pioneered in the Bronx two decades ago. Using this method, public defender’s offices not only help clients with their court cases but also try to address the life circumstances that led them to commit crimes in the first place.
And according to one of the first ever large-scale, empirical studies of holistic defenders’ effectiveness, helping people with their life problems often gets them out of jail, too.