ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

February 14, 2007

2007.02.14: Brooklyn Scabs Get 37% More Funding

Filed under: ALAA History,Funding,Indigent Defense,Key Documents,Scabs — nyclaw01 @ 1:16 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 2:54 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Brooklyn Scabs Get 37% More Funding

As reported by the February 10 NYLJ (below), the city has just given Brooklyn Defender Services — one of Giulliani’s nonunion defense contractors — a 37% increase.

While we suffer givebacks and soaring workload, this will allow BDS to raise salaries and hire more lawyers, thereby further undermining ALAA and 1199 members.

The background to this issue is discussed in the attached draft letter from September 10, 2001.


Defenders Contract Requires Increased Funding, More Cases

Under a new contract signed recently with New York City, Brooklyn Defender Services received increased funding and increased responsibilities for the representation of poor criminal defendants. The new contract boosts the 35-lawyer group’s funding by 37 percent to $5.7 million a year and requires its lawyers to take 90 percent of the cases on the arraignment shifts it covers. Previously, the group had been handling about 70 percent of the cases on its arraignment shifts, according to its executive director, Lisa Schreibersdorf. The old contract had required the group to handle at least 12,500 cases; the new minimum is 18,000. Ms. Schreibersdorf said the added funds have been used to hire nine lawyers, seven of them 2006 graduates, and to increase the group’s wage scale so that its lawyers’ salaries are more in line with those paid by the Legal Aid Society. The raises were retroactive to July 1, 2006, the new contract’s effective date.

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