Local organization helps those on the wrong side of the law

Good Call is a completely free hotline that operates 24/7 in all five boroughs of New York City, kicking off in 2016.

May 5, 2023, 2:26 AM

Updated 388 days ago

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One local organization is working to connect those in murky situations with law enforcement with attorneys and assistance 24 hours a day.  
Good Call is a completely free hotline that operates 24/7 in all five boroughs of New York City, kicking off in 2016.  
For Jelani Anglin, founder of Good Call, his mission came from personal experience. At just 16 years old, Anglin found himself with his hands behind his back after he was caught hopping between subway carts.  
“They harassed us. We were young youth at the time. We had no idea what was going on,” said Anglin. “The next thing you know, we ended up in cuffs.” 
The Good Call emergency hotline logs between 1,000-2,000 calls per year. They say they’ve helped out 11,000 people so far who otherwise may not have made it home.  
“It’s crucial that folks know that they have access to an attorney,” said Anglin. “That’s the difference between folks being released on your own recognizance and returning home to their family.” 
Jason Clark, legal director at Good Call, is one of the people behind the phone helping out those in need.  
“We get a range of people who call with all types of issues,” said Clark. “Typical misdemeanors to things that are more felonious.” 
Clark oversees a team of lawyers working to keep family members up to date through a stressful and often hushed process. As Good Call aims to increase their bandwidth across the five boroughs, Anglin says one doesn’t have to look far to see who the lifeline could have helped in the past.  
Aramis Guzman, an ambassador for Good Call, says the resource was vital to him when he reached out after his loved one was arrested back in January.  
“I was able to call Good Call when a family member got arrested,” said Guzman. “They told me she was going to be able to see the lawyer and when she did… she should be able to be released. I’m extremely thankful for that.” 
Anglin says this hotline also works with technology to provide answers for those actively facing time behind bars and their families, helping expedite otherwise slow processes in the jail system.  
“With good call being able to connect folks to legal support we’re changing people’s life’s trajectory immensely by just utilizing technology,” said Anglin.


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