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Legal Aid Society - Annual Report, 1980

NCJ Number
Date Published
48 pages
Activities of New York's Legal Aid Society during fiscal year 1980 are described; civil, criminal, juvenile rights, and volunteer division accomplishments are included.
The nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to providing quality legal representation to New Yorkers who cannot afford to pay a lawyer, is staffed by approximately 700 attorneys. During fiscal 1980 the civil division continued to handled a broad range of problems including landlord-tenant disputes, family and government benefits, and immigration cases. Legal assistance was provided by the division to approximately 20,000 persons. A major thrust of this year's activity by the civil appeals and law reform unit focused on rights of the handicapped and senior citizen protection. The criminal defense division represented 162,656 defendants in criminal and supreme courts, disposing of 153,356 in criminal court and 9,136 in the supreme court. The division tried 322 cases to verdict in the criminal court, of which 152 were jury trials. In addition, the division conducted 915 preliminary hearings in fiscal 1980, a 66 percent reduction from the prior fiscal year. The division's prison legal assistants' program handled almost 7,000 requests for assistance from persons in 10 pretrial detention institutions. The criminal appeals bureau completed 980 appeals in fiscal 1980 and obtained reversals or modifications of convictions in 220 cases or 23 percent of all matters litigated. The juvenile rights division staff was assigned to represent youngster on a total of 18,159 family court petitions. During the same period, the division's trial staff closed 14,761 cases, of which 41 percent consisted of delinquency, designated felony, and juvenile offenders removed to the family court. The volunteer division instituted a housing development unit for the purpose of preventing abandonments in Harlem communities and represented nearly 2,000 clients in the past year in addition to those assisted by the housing development unit. Photographs are included.


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