Staffing Shortages Could Impact Lowest-Income Citizens’ Right to Legal Counsel

June 20, 2022

The Center for Family Representation (CFR) joined a number of organizations that provide constitutionally and/or legally required defense and legal services representation across the city calling on Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council to prioritize increased funding or risk staffing shortages.

“Defender organizations provide critical support for the most vulnerable among us,” Center for Family Representation Executive Director Michele Cortese said. “This chronic underfunding of our work not only impacts our staff but also has a disproportionately negative impact on low-income families and communities of color. If the city is to live up to its values of racial justice and supporting the most vulnerable New Yorkers, it must close the pay parity gap between city attorneys and public defenders, and ensure that all our organizations are sustainable.”

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