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Alternative to Incarceration & Reentry Services for the LGBTGNCNBQI+ Community in NYC: Research Findings, Best Practices, and Recommendations for the FieldOctober 20, 2021
In order to assess the cultural competency of ATI and reentry services specific to the LGBTGNCNBQI+ population in New York City, a participatory action research project was conducted in the fall of 2020. This project was conceived by the Legal Action Center and the New York ATI/Reentry Coalition. TakeRoot Justice provided substantive professional support in partnership with a leadership team of formerly incarcerated LGBTGNCNBQI+ individuals. New York City and State are nationally known for their highly effective network of ATI and reentry programs, which have been critical to the State's success in simultaneously reducing crime and the prison population and saving taxpayers millions of dollars. However, while New York has substantially reduced the number of people behind bars, it continues to incarcerate many thousands of individuals who could benefit from an alternative to incarceration programs which, when targeted appropriately, are more effective than prison in reducing recidivism and are ultimately less costly than incarceration. Our research shows that, despite the robust range of reentry services available, existing ATI and reentry programs are limited both in their LGBTGNCNBQI+ cultural competency and ability to meet the specific service needs of LGBTGNCNBQI+ people, resulting in this broad and diverse community being significantly underserved by current programs. In addition to results from the survey, profiles of various members of the formerly incarcerated LGBTGNCNBQI+ community in New York City are also included in the report. With this information, we were able to find out more about what service providers in New York City are currently doing and where they need more support - and to also begin to identify and direct them to resources that can help. LGBTGNCNBQI+ people leaving incarceration and returning home to any of the five boroughs need the support of ATI and reentry service programs that understand and can address their specific needs. This report aims to help providers identify and address areas of deficiency, as well as success, within their organizations, as they strive to offer comprehensive, welcoming, culturally competent, high-standard, accessible services to LGBTGNCNBQI+ participants.
Criminal, Victim, or Worker? The Effects of New York's Human Trafficking Intervention Courts on Adults Charged with Prostitution-Related OffensesOctober 1, 2014
In fall 2013 the State of New York Unified Court System announced the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts, an initiative that according to a press release "seeks to promote a just and compassionate resolution to cases involving those charged with prostitution -- treating these defendants as trafficking victims, likely to be in dire need of medical treatment and other critical services."Over the past year, members of the sex worker-led organization Red Umbrella Project have been observing and documenting the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts in Brooklyn and Queens to figure out what happens in the court rooms and how they handle prostitution related charges. The HTICs have the goal of reframing people as victims instead of criminals -- but is that really what's going on?
After hearing numerous complaints of police abuse and misconduct against LGBTQ people in Jackson Heights, Queens, Make the Road New York (with help from the Anti-Violence Project) surveyed over 300 Queens residents about their experiences with police in the neighborhood. The survey findings and individual testimonies reveal a disturbing and systemic pattern of police harassment, violence, and intimidation directed at LGBTQ community members. The discriminatory use of "stop and frisks" in the policing of communities of color has been well documented -- the 110th and 115th precincts that are responsible for policing Jackson Heights had 90%-93% rates of stop and frisk activity towards people of color in 2011. Our survey reveals, however, that within this community LGBTQ people of color are particularly targeted.
Currently, no statewide law explicitly prohibits discrimination against people whose appearance or identity does not conform to gender stereotypes. This means that people who are fired from their jobs, denied housing and services, and mistreated in the workplace, in stores and in restaurants merely because of theirappearance or gender identity do not have clear legal protection. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) would fix this problem by adding gender identity and gender expression to the categories currently included in New York State's antidiscrimination laws, such as sex, sexual orientation, race, religion and disability. This report explains why the legislature should pass GENDA.
Transgender and gender non-conforming adults face a myriad of challenges as they age. While very limited, the existing research on transgender people paints a picture of many people aging in isolation and without a network of knowledgeable or welcoming providers in the aging, health and social services arenas. Further, transgender elders often experience extreme disparities in access to health care and low rates of health insurance coverage due in large part to systemic discrimination from providers and insurance companies, as well as economic instability resulting from discrimination in employment and housing, among other areas. An overarching challenge for policymakersand practitioners isthe dearth in research examining the challenges facing this population--and the types of policies and programmatic interventions that would improve their lives. While the need for better data and more research on lesbian, gay and bisexual communities has gained support over the last few years, gender identity remains largely absent from the scope of social research and analysis. Moreover, few studies have addressed the specific challenges facing transgender elders. Research focused on transgender people of color is even more limited, despite some studies suggesting that they experience high levels of violence and discrimination.
Provides background on Medicaid's long-term support program and offers historical context on the creation of the spousal impoverishment protections, initially available only to heteosexual married copules. This paper also examines how older LGBT couples face numerous financial and social barriers as they age, both nationwide and in New York State, and are thus highly reliant on support from Medicaid and similar programs. Based on this overview, this brief offers recommendations for New York on the specific actions necessary to enact the estate protections explicitly outlined in the CMS letter.
Considered the country's most significant vehicle for delivering services to older adults, the Older Americans Act holds enormous potential for millions of LGBT older adults, a population with profound needs that will surge over the next few decades. To draw on the wisdom of LGBT elders united at this conference, SAGE commissioned an investigative story that describes the potential of this Act in supporting our communities. What are the distinct challenges facing LGBT elders, and how can their aging experiences be enhanced through an LGBT-affirming Older Americans Act? Here are their stories--and here are SAGE's official recommendations on the Older Americans Act.
This study provides the first snapshot of the Aging Network's experience with and readiness to serve lesbian, gay and bisexual older adults and transgender older adults (LGB and T) across all regions of the United States. The directors of every Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and directors of State Units on Aging (SUAs) in single planning and service area states (where the state, in essence, serves as the AAA) were invited to participate in an online survey in May 2010. Fifty percent (320) of eligible agencies completed the study. Participants represented 45 states and all regions of the country. More than half of the participants served an area that was primarily rural and nearly all participants (87%) provided some direct aging services.
Over the past three years, we have witnessed unprecedented changes in the United States and around the world, spanning incredible victories and major crises. We saw the historic election of the first black president of the United States while in the backdrop we braced ourselves for the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. We also witnessed the legalization of same sex marriage in some states and the subsequent amendments barring the rights of same sex couples to marry. We also saw the rise of homelessness and increased rates of HIV infection amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color. History has taught us that crisis presents opportunities for change if people are organized and mobilized in large numbers. Within the LGBTQ community, the decline of sustained organizing and long-term leadership development in favor of strategies consisting solely of legal advocacy, litigation, and services presents the serious danger of losing ground we have already made and threatens to leave the most marginalized in our communities out of the picture. This report is not only about highlighting the major problems facing LGBTQ youth, but also a call to action to the LGBTQ movement to invest in organizing as an essential strategy for change in general, and particularly amongst LGBTQ youth of color. The opportunity to organize for the change LGBTQ youth desperately need exists. As a movement, we do not have the time or luxury to let it slip away.
Make the Road New York investigated possible employment discrimination against transgender job-seekers in Manhattan's retail sector using the research tool of matched pair testing. We sent out carefully matched pairs of job applicants, one transgender and one not, to apply for the same jobs. Each pair was equivalent in age and ethnicity and equipped with fictionalized resumes that were evenly matched. Both testing pairs underwent extensive training on how to adopt similar interview styles and how to document their job-seeking interactions objectively. Transgender testers were instructed to explicitly inform store managers and interviewers of their transgender status whenever feasible.Our research revealed an astonishingly high degree of employment discrimination against our transgender job applicants.
Although largely invisible until recently, LGBT older adults make up a significant (and growing) part of both the overall LGBT population and the larger 65+ population. While confronted with the same challenges that face all people as they age, LGBT elders also face an array of unique barriers and inequalities that can stand in the way of a healthy and rewarding later life. This report examines these additional challenges and how they make it harder for LGBT elders to achieve three key elements of successful aging: financial security, good health and health care, and social support and community engagement. The report also offers detailed recommendations for improving the lives, and life chances, of LGBT older Americans.
LGBT poverty and economic hardship is pervasive. Many of us know it first hand. At the time of this writing, no fully representative data on LGBT poverty exists that takes into account the complexities of race, age, immigration status, disability and other factors that have clear economic impact. But we do know that there is no monolithic "gay" experience of poverty. People of color, transgender/gender nonconforming people, women, youth, and people with disabilities experience a disproportionate amount of poverty and economic hardship in queer communities
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