Access to Appeals

After an indigent individual pleads guilty or is found guilty at trial, they are all too often forgotten about and lost to the system

Sadly, our criminal justice system has placed numerous barriers preventing indigent individuals from pursuing their constitutional right to appellate review – condemning many to unjust convictions and long prison sentences.


Criminal defendants are often mistakenly told they cannot appeal or are never advised about their right to appeal altogether. Those who do attempt to obtain appellate counsel, are left to navigate the confusing appellate court system without any assistance. As a result, many indigent New Yorkers forfeit their right to appeal by default.

Deeply troubled by this systemic failure and gap in appellate representation, CAL created the Access to Appeals Project (A2A).

Partnering directly with trial defender organizations in Bronx and New York County, A2A has helped thousands of indigent New Yorkers preserve their right to appeal, and if they wish, obtain appellate counsel.

Seeking to ensure that no criminal defendant is forgotten after their sentence is impose, A2A provides training, support, and client outreach for some of New York City’s busiest public defender offices.

The A2A Project is run by Lena Janoda.


Other Special Projects