The Annual Spring Cocktail Party honoring the work of Wildcat took place on May 16th at 55 Broadway, NYC. For over 45 years, Wildcat has been driving innovation in services to the justice-involved. Each year, Wildcat presents the Amalia Betanzos Distinguished Service Award, named for Wildcat’s first CEO and legendary public servant to the people of New York City – to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to justice reform. This year’s honoree was to Justine M. (Tina) Luongo, Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice of The Legal Aid Society.
Under Tina’s leadership, The Legal Aid Society opened a first-ever Digital Forensic Unit focused on criminal defense, launched the Cop Accountability Project, and increased the capacity of every trial office to represent clients. Tina spearheaded the Decarceration Project, a city-wide campaign to reduce and eventually eliminate the pre-trial incarceration of poor people in NYC – in 2018, close to 47,000 people will be incarcerated before their cases are heard simply because they can’t afford bail. Tina has also lent significant support to The Women’s Project, Fedcap’s initiative to assist women in pre-trial detention at Rikers Island, connecting them with essential services, providing a strong community network and offering supportive workshops to help them on their path to wellness and economic stability. LDI Color ToolBox is proud to honor Ms. Luongo and support the good works she is involved with.