Today, we’d like to share a letter from one of our former PAC members, Victoria Rodriguez,
As part of the relaunch of “It’s War in Here,” we asked some of our incarcerated members to join an Advisory Committee for the project. These members have helped us to generate questions and edit the surveys, and they will help us to review data and edit drafts of the report later on. They are serving an invaluable role in ensuring that this report accurately reflects the realities of transgender and gender non-conforming people in New York State prisons.
On Thursday, November 9th, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) teamed up with the LGBT Community Center at West 13th to create an affirming and community-driven space to discuss trans healthcare and to learn about the work being done by our allies around the city. During our “What’s Up with Trans Healthcare?” Town Hall, the main goal was to mobilize the community and put pressure on the city government to address the stark lack of affirming and comprehensive healthcare services for transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGNCI) individuals.
“I didn’t know I needed community until it was offered to me.” – James, member of SRLP’s Prisoner Advisory Committee
As with all of Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s (SRLP) legal work, the Prisoner Justice Project (PJP) seeks to address the immediate needs of our incarcerated community members and connect them with opportunities to engage more fully in our work. Most people initiate contact with PJP in a state of crisis, often reporting physical and sexual assault, biased disciplinary action, a lack of access to medical care, punitive segregation, and a lack of access to programming.
In 2003, Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which sought to address and reduce sexual assaults in prison, as well as to develop resources to educate institutions on this issue and to protect those most vulnerable.
As an organization that centers the voices of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGNCI) people of color in the fight for liberation, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project holds a deep commitment to the legacies of revolutionaries like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. For over four years, Reina Gossett served as SRLP’s Director of Membership. She was also one of the inaugural members of SRLP’s Movement Building Team, formed to organize trans people of color to make transformative change.
This week, SRLP is celebrating the effect that our voices and truths can have on the law. In a surprising and important move, the Board of Correction – the oversight and monitoring body for New York City’s jails – issued a harsh resolution and timeline in response to the New York City Department of Correction’s continued refusal to meet certain screening and housing requirements of the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the City’s own Minimum Standards for the jails.