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Profile: tamara.steckler

Tamara A. Steckler is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Juvenile Rights Practice of the Legal Aid Society in New York City (JRP), supervising a staff of 330 attorneys, social workers and paralegals who represent over 34,000 children and young adults each year in child welfare, delinquency, PINS, appellate and impact litigation proceedings in all five boroughs. She has been active in numerous state and city working groups and task forces addressing issues of child welfare and juvenile justice, including the Governor’s Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice, the New York State Task for on the Future of Probation, the New York City Juvenile Justice Advisory Council on the implementation of “Close to Home”, New York Statewide Committee and New York City Working Group to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in JD and Child Welfare Matters, New York State Bar Task Force on Family Court, New York Statewide Child Welfare Interdisciplinary Collaboration Group, the New York State Juvenile Use of Orders of Protection Project Advisory Board, as well as the New York City Executive Committee for Child Welfare Practice. She was also instrumental in passing legislation in New York that capped the number of clients an Attorney for a Child could handle at any given time. She has published various articles including Litigating Racism: Exposing Injustice in Juvenile Prosecutions and Perspective: A New Era in Representing Children and speaks publicly in numerous forums regarding issues of child welfare and juvenile justice.

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NAPD News

April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE 
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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principleswhich are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.  

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On March 2, 2017, NAPD released its Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution Can Reduce Defender Workload, Save Money, and Reduce RecidivismThere are more than 2 million people in jail and prison in the United States. This is a four-fold increase since 1980. This increase and the racial disproportionality among incarcerated people has led to alliances across the political spectrum to address the impact on people and on budgets.  As the new Coalition for Public Safety has put it, “Our country has an ‘overcriminalization’ problem and an ‘overincarceration’ problem — and it’s getting worse." NAPD authored this statement because there is a great opportunity to make transformative changes that can improve justice and save money.  A variety of organizations representing a wide spectrum of political views have joined together to end the systematic problem of overcriminalization and narrow the net of incarceration by reforming criminal codes.