A new report issued by Trans Equity Consulting and the Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Non-Binary Working Group (TGNCNB) to the Manhattan DA’s office highlights ways the office, and other District Attorney’s offices around the country can be more inclusive to their Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Non-Binary community members seeking help from the office.
Trans Equity Consulting led the working group of members of the D.A.’s office and advocates including AVP’s Catherine Shugrue dos Santos and Ashley Young, representatives from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the Hetrick Martin Institute, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
“Trans and Non-Binary individuals as well as Gender Non-Conforming folks have a long history of mistreatment when meeting the criminal justice system,” said Cecilia Gentili, Principal Consultant and Founder of Trans Equity Consulting in the press release. “These recommendations are a great starting point to create healing and find inclusive and caring ways to shift their experience to better outcomes. Thank you, DA Bragg, for this initiative!”
The D.A.’s office released the report in late October and says that the office will work now work to implement the changes.
“I would like to thank the members of the TGNCNB Working Group who collaborated for months to analyze our Office’s practices and suggest strategies to improve how we serve trans and gender-diverse survivors, witnesses, and community members,” said D.A. Bragg. “Commissioning this report helped to highlight where we can take stronger action, and now we will immediately begin to implement as many of these recommendations as possible and remain committed to transparency throughout this ongoing process.”
The Report’s recommendations include improvements to many areas of the Office’s intake, outreach, training, and more, including:
- Creating an intake form to ensure the correct gendering and naming of individuals seeking assistance
- Consolidating the Office’s hotlines and better publicizing available supports
- Creating a greeter or navigator position to help visitors go through security checkpoints, and create a private area for additional screening
- Assess structural limitations and take steps toward creating gender-neutral bathrooms
- Improving signage and accessibility in the public areas of the office
- Enhancing training for Assistant D.A.s and others who work directly with witnesses and victims, and developing a “living library” of trans-related resources for continued education
- Advocating for similarly enhanced training of NYPD officers
- Developing a system to better refer victims to services
- Updating existing forms to reflect gender identities and pronouns
- Updating the Office’s website to ensure consistency, accessibility, and additional resources for the TGNCNB community
“AVP knows that creating inclusive and affirming spaces for trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary survivors of violence builds safety and reduces the revictimization that TGNCNB people who are engaged in criminal legal systems face,” said Shugrue dos Santos in the press release. “AVP is proud of our work on the Manhattan District Attorney’s TGNCNB Working Group, and wholeheartedly supports the recommendations.”