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News & Press Releases

Oct
21
2014
Settlement Begins Historic Reformation of Public Defense in New York State

The New York Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP today announced a historic settlement that overhauls public defense in five counties and lays the foundation for statewide reform of New York’s broken public defense system. By entering into the agreement, the state is taking responsibility for providing public defense for the first time in the more than 50 years since the Supreme Court held that it is a state obligation.

Sep
25
2014
Justice Department Issues Landmark Support for Public Defense Suit

The Justice Department today submitted a “statement of interest” in a case filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Schulte, Roth and Zabel LLP aimed at overhauling the state’s public defense system and slated to go to trial on Oct. 7. This is the first time that the Department of Justice has weighed in on public defense in a state court proceeding in the more than 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court held that states must provide the right to counsel to poor people accused of crimes.

Sep
17
2014
NYCLU Report Exposes NY’s Failure to Provide Public Defense to Poor in Violation of Constitution

The New York Civil Liberties Union today released a report revealing grim new data regarding New York State’s abject failure to provide public defense services to poor people accused of crimes, a violation of the U.S. Constitution, state constitution and the laws of New York. The new report also features testimonials from New Yorkers across the state whose families, homes and livelihoods were devastated by the broken public defense system.

Aug
27
2014
NYCLU Unveils ‘Wheel of Justice’ Game to Highlight NY’s Broken Public Defense System

At a press conference today in Washington Square Park, the New York Civil Liberties Union kicked off its Wheel of Justice NY campaign to highlight New York State’s broke public defense system. The campaign – complete with a travelling Wheel of Fortune-style game that can also be played online – calls on Governor Cuomo to end the state’s failure to provide effective attorneys to poor New Yorkers accused of crimes, and settle an NYCLU lawsuit on the matter going to trial this October. The trial will be the first of its kind in the nation.

Jul
31
2014
NY Sheriffs Stop Unlawfully Jailing Immigrants Thanks to NYCLU Advocacy

Thanks to advocacy by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association has advised all sheriffs across the state to stop imprisoning people without a warrant just so federal agencies can investigate them for immigration purposes. In response to the Sheriffs’ Association guidance, at least 10 counties have stopped honoring federal government requests that they jail people who have been arrested after they would have otherwise been released.

Jun
18
2014
New Settlement Protects Right to Film Police in Suffolk County

In a settlement approved late Tuesday by the Suffolk County Legislature, the Suffolk County Police Department has agreed to annually train and test all police officers on the First Amendment right of the public and the media to observe, photograph and record police activity in public locations.

Jun
10
2014
Women's Equality Coalition Calls on the New York State Senate to Vote on the Women's Equality Act

Leaders and advocates from the Women's Equality Coalition stand with legislators from both the State Assembly and State Senate today to urge the passage of the full Women's Equality Act (WEA), a bill supported by the vast majority of New Yorkers. The WEA provides common sense updates to existing New York law that will ensure the state’s 10 million mothers, sisters, daughters and wives are not held back by discrimination. This critical legislation will remove barriers to economic security, preserves access to reproductive health care and helps survivors of domestic violence.

Jun
5
2014
Fact Check: What it’s Really Like at the ‘Orange is the New Black’ Jail

In conjunction with the release of Orange is the New Black, the New York Civil Liberties Union today launched a Humanity is the New Black campaign highlighting the inhumane conditions at the Long Island jail featured in the popular Netflix show’s second season

Feb
11
2014
NYCLU Applauds Central Islip School Board for Rejecting Sex-Specific Policy for Homecoming Queen and King Nominees

The Central Islip School Board last night voted down a proposal to require nominees for Homecoming King to be male and Homecoming Queen to be female. The Suffolk County Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union applauded its decision. The proposal came after a local church group filed a petition to the school board after a lesbian student at Central Islip High School, Faith Shepherd, ran for and won the title for Homecoming King as a statement for gender equality and to support transgender individuals.

Dec
3
2013
Agreement between Suffolk Police and DOJ Should Enhance Public Safety

A settlement announced late today between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Suffolk County Police Department should enhance public safety by improving relations between the Police Department and immigrant residents, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.

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