The Legal Aid Society Provides A Second Chance During Safe Surrender Program
MONDAY, AUGUST 19, 2013
Legal Aid staff participating in Safe Surrender on Friday included: Bridget Holloman, Amy Swenson, Emily Poppish, Ron Schneider, Willoughby Jenett, Nadine Griffin, Elena Roberts, Patricia Lavelle, Martha Saunders, Margaret McClean, Melodie Donovan, Asmika Dangol, Elizabeth Loebman, Ryan Wall, Dawn Ryan, Derrick (the Mobile Justice Unit driver), Daniel Ashworth, and Jose Negron.

Lawyers, paralegals, investigators, social workers, administrative and support staff and technical support staff from The Legal Aid Society's Brooklyn Criminal Defense Office and from the Society's Civil Practice Immigration Law Unit were on hand on Friday and Saturday to provide a second chance to individuals facing outstanding summonses and warrants for minor offenses who were given an opportunity to turn themselves in and have their cases adjudicated during the Safe Surrender program at St. Augustine Church in Flatbush. A courtroom was set up at St. Augustine's and Legal Aid staff interviewed individuals and represented them before a Judge.

Safe Surrender is a community outreach program of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office in partnership with The Legal Aid Society, the New York State Office of Court Administration, and several churches in Brooklyn. The Legal Aid Mobile Justice Unit was stationed outside the church and Legal Aid immigration lawyers were there to help community residents. There was also a Know Your Rights table with an assortment of brochures on a broad range of topics, including immigration, domestic violence, unemployment insurance, eviction, appearing in court, and encounters with police.

Dawn Ryan, Attorney-in-Charge of the Brooklyn Criminal Office, coordinated the Legal Aid effort. Legal Aid staff participating in Safe Surrender included: Nicole Mull, Noha Arafa, Elena Roberts, Adam Heyman, Ellen Sacks, Amy Swenson, Beth Calcaterra, Emily Poppish, Daniel Ashworth, Ryan Wall, Danielle Feman, Bob Peck, Azalia Torres, Susan Morris, Patricia Lavelle, Jane Fox, Martha Saunders, Nadine Griffin, Asmika Dangol, Margaret McClean, Bridget Holloman, Al Wall, Ron Sanders, Pooja Kothari, Pat Davis, Melodie Donovan, Aurea Gonzalez, Ann Sanders, Elizabeth Loebman, Ron Schneider, Vanita Martin, Sarah O'Leary, Mark Weiner, and Willoughby Jenett. Several members of the staff were interviewed by the media.