“Everyone who engages with the criminal legal system, whether victim or suspect of a crime, accused or convicted of committing a crime, has legal rights and should be treated fairly.”
Lambda Legal, in association with Black & Pink National, today launched the new Protected and Served? , a study looking at discrimination and bias against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV in the criminal legal system. Findings from the Protected and Served? inform and support new research, advocacy, litigation, and policy efforts to address discrimination and abuse suffered by LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV in the criminal legal system, and hold them accountable.
“Everyone who engages with the criminal legal system, whether they are a victim or suspect of a crime, charged with or convicted of committing a crime, has legal rights and should be treated fairly,” said Richard Saenz, senior attorney and strategist at criminal justice and police misconduct from Lambda Legal . “However, we know that this is not the case for many people, especially LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV. If people in our communities have had experiences with the criminal legal system or another government entity, such as child protective services, we need to hear their stories so we can make change together.”
“The idea that we must compartmentalize the damage we sustain from law enforcement systems during our interaction with these systems for our care and safety is a recipe for disaster,” said Dominique Morgan, executive director of Black and Pink National . “And if these systems truly want to be our primary care and justice system, they should be given the feedback that lets them know their true impact. The Protected and Served? it is a much-needed mirror for police, jails, prisons, and school security.”
The first Protected & Served?, which looked at government misconduct by police, prisons, courts, and school security against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV, was an important resource for litigants, advocacy groups, academics, the press, and organizations government agencies, including the US Department of Justice and the US Commission on Civil Rights. This year’s updated report will build on the success of the first report and expand the survey to include questions about the experiences of the most marginalized populations within our communities, including incarcerated individuals, youth, sex workers, and immigrants, and includes questions about interactions with the US immigration system, youth-focused government systems, such as child protection services, and security forces in general. The survey will also ask about how these experiences influence trust or mistrust in the criminal legal system.
Strength in Numbers Consulting Group, an LGBTQ+ led strategic research, evaluation and philanthropy firm, will facilitate the survey and contribute to the report.
The survey, which is anonymous and confidential, will be available from today, May 5, 2022, through July 8, 2022. Individuals who complete the online survey will have the opportunity to enter a drawing to win one of the ten $100 gift cards. The report will be published in early 2023.
For more information, including the survey, visit www.ProtectedAndServed.org