First Assistant Federal Defender Kelly Barrett attended a panel discussion with a prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York with 50 students from the “Voices of Protest” class from the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, New York. The panel discussed the federal criminal process system, including topics related to jury trials, sentencing, bail, mandatory minimums, mitigation, and the impact of mass incarceration.
On January 25, 2023, members of the DEIJ Outreach Subcommittee, including Kelly Barrett, Daniel Erwin, Allison Kahl, Aissa Lugo, and Kathi Torres, visited the St. Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven, previous school to one of the Office’s clients. Saint Martin de Porres Academy is a faith-based, NativityMiguel middle school that provides a tuition-free, extended day education for underserved girls and boys from low-income families in the New Haven area. The FDO delegation attended a morning meeting, attended a tour of the school, and met with the director and principal. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Saint Martin de Porres Academy.
First Assistant Federal Defender Kelly Barrett attended the fifth annual “Gateway to Practice” seminar at Quinnipiac Law School on January 10, 2023. She served as a practice advisor to a group of five students, teaching skills related to client interviewing, oral advocacy, and legal research. The FDO is pleased to collaborate with Quinnipiac Law School to mentor students and serve as a host for student internships.
On December 15, 2022, the Federal Defender Office held its inaugural “Giving Tree” event, a time for community, fellowship, and celebration among staff and clients alike. Featuring festive refreshments and a toy drive, the Office was thrilled to kick off what promises to be a yearly tradition.
On November 30, 2022, Mitigation Specialist Maria Diaz Sommer and First Assistant Federal Defender Kelly Barrett spoke to Professor Jim Buccini’s “College to Career” class at Quinnipiac University. A yearly event, Maria and Kelly, spoke to students about the diversity of career opportunities availability within a federal public defender office. They also spoke to students about the important work of federal pubic defenders, including with respect to DEIJ, zealous advocacy, the right to mitigation, and restorative justice.
On November 28, 2022, Assistant Federal Defender Carly Levenson traveled to Danbury Federal Correctional Institution with a delegation from the New Haven Reentry Court, including a federal judge, prosecutor, probation officer, and reentry coordinator. Carly and the delegation toured the prison and presented information about Reentry Court to the men of Danbury. Carly also had the opportunity to answer questions about a variety of topics, including the mission and work of the Federal Defender Office.
On November 23, 2022, Kelly Barrett, Maria Sommer, Carly Levenson and a delegation from the Bridgeport Support Court, including a federal judge, federal prosecutor, federal probation officer, and treatment provider, attending a Support Court participant’s community service project at CCAR, which featured a giving tree event in honor of Le’chard Santos, a community meeting, and a community Thanksgiving meal.
On November 21, 2022, in collaboration with the U.S. District Court, First Assistant Federal Defender Kelly Barrett participated in an educational outreach program at Walsh Middle School in Branford, Connecticut. Kelly, as well as a federal prosecutor and federal judge presented on a panel regarding the Adnan Syed case from the “Serial” Podcast. Students had the opportunity to ask questions about the operation of the federal criminal justice system, including on important topics like Brady violations, sentencing, and the right to a fair and impartial jury.
On October 26, 2022, Kelly Barrett, Maria Sommer, Carly Levenson and a delegation from the Bridgeport Support Court, including a federal judge, federal prosecutor, federal probation officer, and treatment provider, attending a Support Court participant’s community service project at Habitat for Humanity in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The delegation participated in a community build day at a home in Bridgeport.