BDS Testimony before The New York City Council Committees on Criminal Justice and Women & Gender Equity regarding TGNCNBI Individuals in Rikers

Deep-rooted systems of violence, discrimination, and inaccessible medical care that TGNCNBI people face generally are exacerbated in the criminal legal system and jail environment and take a significant toll on the mental and physical wellbeing of TGNCNBI people in custody. This is particularly the case for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are TGNCNBI, given the disproportionate rates of targeting, surveillance, and arrest by police and mistreatment within the criminal legal system. As detailed below, the TGNCNBI people BDS represents have suffered and continue to suffer myriad harms, including sexual abuse, suicide attempts, mental health deterioration, inaccessible hormone therapy and medical care, and being forced to hide their true selves for safety, to name a few. These harms are in addition to the inhumane conditions faced by all people in DOC custody. BDS previously submitted testimony to the Committee on Criminal Justice on May 1, 2019 and April 27, 2021, detailing stories of transgender women we represented who faced harassment and assault when housed in men’s facilities due to the convoluted process for requesting housing alternatives and as punitive measures. That those stories remain relevant to today’s hearing demonstrates that the Department is failing to address long-standing and urgent issues

View the full testimony here.

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