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Before Incarceration Assistance

Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) Queens Court office

TYPE: CASES serves justice-involved people who have behavioral health needs including serious mental illness.

SERVICES: Posts staff in NYC courts including Queens who identify and advocate for individuals who can be better served through a community-based alternative to incarceration. When your arrested family member is scheduled to be arraigned, locate the CASES staff at the court and involve them.

DAYLINE: (718) 520-2155 in Queens court, 125-01 Queens Boulevard M141, Mezzanine Level, Kew Gardens, NY 11415

INSURANCES: not applicable (free)

E-MAIL: “Contact by mail” tab on

Be sure that the attorney is expert in criminal law. The NYS Bar Association will recommend three attorneys in your area who practice criminal law. Contact Lawyer Referral and Information Service (lris) (800) 342-3661. Online requests can be made through: For an attorney in NYC call 212-626-7373 .


Legal Aid Society of Nassau

TYPE: Helps indigent persons in criminal legal matters and in certain family court matters including those involving child custody and support issues.

SERVICES: Does not choose or select which parties will become clients. Parties seeking representation of Nassau Legal Aid must ask a criminal or family court judge to assign it to their case. The only exceptions to this rule are that a) Legal Aid will represent any person being arraigned at the Nassau County District Court following arrest if that person does not have any legal counsel at the time of arraignment; and b) Legal Aid will provide very basic legal counsel and limited representation in certain pre-arrest situations.


DAY LINE: 1-516-560-6400

INSURANCES: not applicable (services are free)

E-MAIL: not available. Individual staff members can be emailed through the website


Legal Aid Society – Queens Criminal Defense Unit

TYPE: The Legal Aid Society is a private, not-for-profit legal services organization, the oldest and largest in the nation, dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers.

SERVICES: Provides free full legal representation, brief advice, referrals to housing, and counseling where appropriate, to poor people [125% of federal poverty level], and up to 200% of federal poverty level under special services.

HOT LINE: 1-718-286-2450

INSURANCES: Not applicable – services are free

E-MAIL: not available


Suffolk County Legal Aid Society

TYPE: Provides law services to indigent population of Suffolk County. Guidelines for legal aid are set by the Federal poverty guidelines.

SERVICES: In addition to its legal services, its Social Work Bureau utilizes comprehensive assessments to gather information about Its clients who come from diverse backgrounds. Social Workers then coordinate services with community agencies and the interdisciplinary team to assist clients obtain the most appropriate services. They advocate for clients in the court rooms through written and oral submissions.

DAY LINE: (631) 853-5212

INSURANCES: not applicable (services are free)

E-MAIL: not available



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