Last night, I attended the annual fundraiser for Bronx Defenders. Great event, great organization, and great honoree -- the event honored Herb Sturz, who helped establish the blueprint for innovative criminal justice non-profits when he founded the Vera Institute of Justice a half century ago.
Institutional partnerships between non-profits can be a challenge given the realities of politics, personalities, and the competition for limited resources. That said, we have been fortunate to establish a long-standing, mutually-beneficial (I hope!) relationship with Bronx Defenders. We aren't on the same side of every issue, but there is a basic foundation of respect and understanding between the two agencies that has enabled us to work together on projects like Bronx Community Solutions and the Center for Holistic Defense. We've also tapped Robin Steinberg, the head of Bronx Defenders, to be on numerous task forces, including our initiative to improve communication in criminal courts.