Wesley Caines, Chief of Staff, The Bronx Defenders
Wesley Caines is a Bronx native and the Chief of Staff at the Bronx Defenders (BxD). Previously he was the organization’s Reentry & Community Outreach Coordinator, and later Director of Reentry & Community Engagement, and worked with the law office’s former/current clients, and community members, to overcome barriers to their justice involvement, as well as engage in policy work across the spectrum of criminal justice reform. Prior to joining BxD, Wesley was the Reentry Specialist/Coordinator and Advocate at Brooklyn Defender Services. In his time there he spearheaded the Records Accuracy Project (R.A.P.) utilizing local area law students to identify and correct RAP Sheet errors. A project he’s expanded now at BxD. A graduate of Bard College and New York Theological Seminary, Wesley has successfully trained over 30 law students in the complex world of reentry and reentry policy work. He is frequently invited to speak at colleges and universities across the country on his exceptional personal journey, criminal justice reform issues and the work of The Bronx Defenders. He serves as a member of the American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, and the New York City Bar, Reentry Subcommittee. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Correctional Association of New York, Inside Change, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Network Support Services, Inc., he lends his expertise in the furtherance of helping those who are economically disadvantaged to improve their criminal justice outcomes through bail and their reentry success through support services. Wesley’s life goal is the empowerment of underserved communities as they become creative self-advocates who challenge policy-makers’ notion of the social contract.