“Over the last decade, I have been privileged to use the Osborne Association. The Osborne Association has made a positive difference in the lives of many of my clients and their families. They provide much needed resources and support for clients. The Osborne Association has always been a strong court advocate and there when you, and those who rely on you, need them most.”
- Leon Schrage, Esq.
For more than 30 years, the Osborne Association’s Court Advocacy Services (CAS) has served New York City criminal defense attorneys whose clients face incarceration. Forensic social workers and court advocates conduct in-depth psycho-social assessments, collect and review records, and develop individualized pretrial release and sentencing recommendations for submission to New York City criminal and supreme courts and district attorney offices. We seek alternatives to pretrial detention when possible, and in appropriate cases, seek alternatives to incarceration. We conduct assessments using scientifically validated instruments; develop strengths-based interventions or strategies unique to each individual; and advocate for community-based programs that directly address the factors related to the criminal justice involvement of each individual’s case. As a result of our involvement, more than 90% of the cases we accept lead to an alternative to a jail or prison term, or to a lesser sentence than would have been imposed without our intervention. Our recommendations for lesser sentences or non-incarceration meet the needs of the individuals we serve, satisfy the conditions set by the Court, and promote public safety.
Osborne’s Court Advocacy Services has long been a trusted and valued resource within the New York City court system, helping stakeholders to balance the competing values of punishment and treatment, retribution, and compassion. We provide services in a comprehensive manner, based on a strong knowledge of the internal workings of the courts. Since 1985, Osborne has served individuals charged with felonies, including juvenile offenders, who are represented by the Assigned Counsel Plan (“18-B”) attorneys in New York City or other institutional defenders in all five boroughs. Services can begin at arrest and usually continue through the pendency of the court case, and in some cases, continue post-sentencing, to provide support and reentry services. We are experienced in more serious cases that involve charges of violence, mandatory sentences, or predicate felon consideration.
Interviews, Assessments, Investigations, and Court Appearances: We interview clients in court, adult or juvenile detention facilities, or in our offices in downtown Brooklyn. We conduct pre-pleading and pre-sentence investigations of clients’ backgrounds to ascertain mitigating factors and assess risk and needs, to help the Court understand the client’s life story and offer alternative solutions including lesser sentences and community-based sanctions in detailed submissions.
Pretrial Release: If clients are in detention, we can prepare reports and release plans that support defense counsel’s bail applications. If the Court approves an alternative program that does not provide an escort, we are available to escort our clients to their placement.
Sentencing: We seek community-based sentences including treatment alternatives and probation supervision. We make referrals and facilitate intakes to hundreds of vetted community-based programs that provide mental health, HIV/AIDS, and substance abuse treatment services, as well as to educational and vocational placements. When appropriate, we make referrals to other Osborne Association programs. The progress of our clients, who are released from pre-trial detention or sentenced to an alternative to incarceration, is carefully monitored by our staff with additional interventions provided if necessary to support success in the community. Staff invests time supporting the motivation of clients in the task of program and treatment engagement and in and fulfilling their conditions of sentence that have been imposed by the Court. Regular updates on client progress are also provided to the Court and defense counsel.
Technical Assistance: CAS staff provide technical assistance to defense attorneys and others, including identifying experts (medical, psychological, etc.) and other service referrals to benefit clients.
TO MAKE A REFERRAL, PLEASE CONTACT:
Andrea Goupalsingh, LMSW
The Osborne Association – Court Advocacy Services
175 Remsen Street, 8th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-637-6560, ext. 6572