Over 300 People Attended Event and Resource Fair; 226 Warrants Were Cleared
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, Honorable George Grasso, Supervising Judge of Bronx Criminal Court, and The Bronx Defenders Managing Director Justine Olderman announced today that over 300 people attended Saturday’s “Another Chance” event and 226 summons warrants were erased, helping people move on with their lives.
District Attorney Clark said, “It was a rewarding event for the community and for my Office. Those who came to the Eastchester Presbyterian Church made the decision to resolve these old warrants so they don’t risk arrest, jail or missed opportunities because they once made a mistake such as drinking alcohol in public or some other quality-of-life offense. Now they can enjoy the rest of the summer knowing their record is clear.”
Judge Grasso said, “The Criminal Court is proud to have worked with our Criminal Justice partners in making the second annual ‘Another Chance’ event a success. It is efforts like these that serve to enhance the community’s respect for the Criminal Justice System. We look forward to continuing to engage the people of Bronx County in this type of positive interaction.”
Ms. Olderman said, “The Bronx Defenders was a proud partner at Saturday's event, representing hundreds of community members and working to help mitigate the harm caused by these warrants. Warrants for low-level offenses can have a devastating impact on people's employment, benefits, housing and even their ability to stay in this country. We hope that events like these represent a shift in the way the city approaches 'quality of life' infractions and illustrate that these cases have no place in the criminal justice system."
According to the Office of Court Administration, 226 warrants were vacated, the majority involving summonses for public consumption of alcohol. Participants attended a resource fair, where vendors provided information and resources on jobs, health care and social services.
A mobile courtroom was created in the Eastchester Presbyterian Church on Fish Avenue in Baychester and presided over by the Honorable Bahaati Pitt, Bronx Criminal Court Judge. Volunteer Assistant District Attorneys and The Bronx Defenders handled the cases.
District Attorney Clark thanked Judge Pitt of Bronx Criminal Court, the Court Officers and Office of Court Administration personnel – including clerks, stenographers and interpreters – for making the process run smoothly.
District Attorney Clark thanked her Assistant District Attorneys, Detective Investigators, Community Affairs staff and support staff from her Office, as well as The Bronx Defenders Attorneys and support staff and all the vendors who participated in the resource fair for helping to make “Another Chance” a success.