This hotline came about during our work supporting people arrested during Occupy Wall Street. Each of the founders of this hotline found ourselves responding in various capacities to numerous arrests every day. From our prior work in courts we knew that a lack of reliable legal information is predictive of lasting damage, and as mass incarceration ruins communities, information can make all the difference. We realized that we gained a large body of knowledge about how to navigate the criminal legal system in New York City, from the practical application of your Fourth Amendment rights to how to get your property back from a precinct. Each of us felt an obligation to document what we had learned and take our organization to the rest of NYC residents.
From this idea two years of hard work have resulted in this hotline becoming operational. We seek to be a source of information and referrals for all New Yorkers.