About Anne

Considered an expert in Criminal Justice Policy, Anne J. Swern has pursued justice for over 35 years. Through her service working with four different elected District Attorneys for Kings County, as Managing Counsel for Brooklyn Defenders, and as Adjunct Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, Ms. Swern has honed her prosecutorial, leadership, community relations, advocacy, management and teaching skills to create nationally recognized programs, as well as advance criminal justice policies, practices, and the profession as a whole. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her professional accomplishments.

Earlier in her career as Assistant District Attorney, she successfully investigated and tried violent and predatory offenders, including those charged with sex crimes, major offenses and domestic violence. Ms. Swern was then promoted to manage various units within the District Attorney’s office, including the Intake and Criminal Court Bureaus while continuing to conduct trials of individuals charged with homicide and major offenses.

As First Assistant District Attorney, she supervised more than 1,100 attorneys and support staff in prosecutorial and administrative functions, handling over 100,000 cases per year as the senior executive for alternative sentencing policy and programming.

Among her greatest accomplishments at the District Attorney’s office include her role as executive-in-charge of the nationally acclaimed Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) Program, the first prosecution-created program dedicated to diverting drug-addicted, prison-bound, non-violent repeat offenders into residential substance abuse treatment. She championed the program’s lasting community impact as author of its Annual Report. Together with numerous community stakeholders, she is also proud of her role in planning and later supervising Brooklyn’s problem-solving and therapeutic treatment courts, including the internationally recognized Red Hook Community Justice Center, Mental Health Court, and Brooklyn Treatment Court.

Ms. Swern built upon her extensive knowledge and deep desire to continue serving Brooklyn’s residents and communities when she became Managing Counsel for Brooklyn Defender Services. This respected public law office represents 45,000 clients a year - who cannot afford an attorney - in housing, civil, educational, immigration, criminal, and family defense matters.

At her alma mater, Brooklyn Law School, Ms. Swern shares her criminal justice expertise and experience, inspiring the next generation of criminal law and public policy professionals. Recently elected as the District Leader of the 52nd Assembly, Ms. Swern also brings her knowledge of the law and passion for justice to residents in various communities in and around Downtown Brooklyn, ensuring their right to vote.

In addition to her professional and teaching roles, Ms. Swern contributes to best practices within the field while serving on an array of local and national professional organizations, including:

  • Criminal Justice Council of the American Bar Association (Special Advisor)
  • American Bar Association Reentry Committee (Co-Chair)
  • Judiciary Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association (Member)
  • Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (Former Member, Advisory Board)
  • National District Attorneys Association (Former Board Director and Liaison)

She also served on the New York State Commission on Drugs and the Courts, assisting in the preparation of Confronting the Cycle of Addiction and Recidivism, a report submitted to Chief Judge Judith Kaye.