2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sabrina Talukder

Sabrina Talukder

Name of Host Organization: Legal Aid Society of New York City
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Immigrant Populations - Trafficking/Slavery, Domestic Violence
Sponsors: Dentons

The Project

Sabrina identified and represented non-citizen survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking who have criminal convictions in their immigration matters.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Non-citizen survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence (hereinafter “survivors”) are falling through the cracks of the criminal justice system. They are being deported despite the fact they have been afforded legal protection on a local and national level. This project provided a multifaceted solution through the implementation of a screening/referral tool and training program for the public defenders at the Legal Aid Society of NYC, which fostered early identification of survivors trapped in the criminal justice system. Sabrina provided direct legal representation and holistic services to survivors who are facing deportation so that they can live independently from their abusers and traffickers, and she created survivor-centric community education materials that were distributed through the community partners of Legal Aid Society’s Domestic Violence-Immigration Practice. Furthermore, Sabrina undertook outreach at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility to further identify survivors.
Fellowship Highlights: 
In the past two years, Sabrina has:
• Provided legal advice or direct legal representation to over 52 non-citizen survivors
• Identified 29 non-citizen survivors in Riker’s Island Correctional Facility who would have otherwise remained invisible in the criminal justice system
• Given practice specific survivor identification training to over 150 attorneys at The Legal Aid Society
• Implemented a survivor identification screening tool for all borough offices at The Legal Aid Society
• Created an emergency hotline for survivors and distributed survivor centric know your rights materials
• Devised a sustainable partnership with Riker’s Island Correctional Facility to have monthly presentations to inmates and staff about domestic violence, human trafficking, and the rights of non-citizen survivors
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Sabrina plans to:
• Continue representing non-citizen survivors at The Legal Aid Society in the Domestic Violence-Immigration Unit
• Continue to give monthly presentations to inmates and staff at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility
• Create a multimedia art exhibit with Rush Gallery in 2018 that conveys the stories of non-citizen survivors

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