Caitlin Becker is the Managing Director of Social Work at the Bronx Defenders. She joined The Bronx Defenders as a social worker in the Family Defense Practice in 2011, and went on to supervise the practice before she took on her current role in 2017. Caitlin earned her M.S.W. from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service in 2011. Her internships at both Abraham House, a community-based Alternative to Incarceration Program, and Covenant House, a shelter for homeless teens and young adults, fueled her interest in working with individuals and families affected by both the criminal legal and child protection systems. Prior to joining The Bronx Defenders, Caitlin worked with undergraduates at Fordham University’s Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice, where she connected students with volunteer opportunities in community-based organizations in the Bronx, and collaborated with her colleagues and students to advance the social justice mission of the university. She served as a Jesuit volunteer and worked with homeless youth in San Diego, California, following her graduation from Boston College in 2005 with a degree in English and Communication Studies
Jenny Crawford maintains a private mitigation practice working on state and federal cases. She joined CSSW in 2011 after serving as the Director of Social Work with Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project. At CSSW, she supports students in field practicums, with a focus on interdisciplinary practice within social work and the law. She teaches Contemporary Social Issues and developed the first forensic social work class offered at CSSW, which she teaches. Ms. Crawford also teaches supervision and field instruction, and co-created a curriculum for practitioners and organizations on recognizing and managing vicarious trauma. Before joining the Mental Health Project, Ms. Crawford served at The Bronx Defenders, a public defender office in the South Bronx that provides criminal, family, and civil defense to indigent clients arrested and charged with crimes in the Bronx. In 2005, she became The Bronx Defenders’ first Director of Social Work. Ms. Crawford was part of an interdisciplinary planning team that developed the family defense practice, which represents parents charged with abuse and neglect in Bronx County. In 2009, Ms. Crawford received the New York City Chapter of NASW’s Social Work Image Award. She has served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where she co-taught Interdisciplinary Responses to Child Abuse and Neglect to law and social work graduate students.
Vivianne Guevara is the Director of Client and Mitigation Services at the Federal Defenders of New York in the Eastern District and has been working as a Defender for over 13 years. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders of New York, Vivianne was an Investigator and Social Worker at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, where she supported litigation that challenged conditions in juvenile and adult jails and prisons in Georgia and Alabama, the provision of indigent defense in Georgia, and the proliferation of debtor’s prisons in Georgia. She also worked with clients individually to reduce the impact of the collateral consequences that resulted from civil and criminal court involvementVivianne began working in public defense as a social worker at the Bronx Defenders, where she worked with clients charged in domestic violence and mental health courts. While working towards her Master’s Degree in Social Work, she was an Outreach Specialist at the Bowery Residents’ Committee where she worked one-on-one with homeless individuals on the streets and in the subways of New York City. Vivianne holds a certificate in Restorative Justice and Restorative Circles and received training from Kay Pranis, Planning Change, and the International Institute of Restorative Practices. She is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University School of Social Work.
Nikita Rahman, a Queens native, is a current MSW candidate at Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW). This year she is working as a social work intern at The Bronx Defenders in their Family Defense practice, where she helps caregivers navigate and mitigate the harms of the family policing system. At CSSW, Nikita has also, along with a group of passionate staff and students, helped co-create a new mandated supporting training that has been piloted this fall, and aims to replace the current mandated reporter training which takes a violent carceral approach to reporting families of color. Nikita is also a dancer, plant mama, and sci-fi reader.
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