Legal Aid Society


LAS, Advocates to AG James: Support the Release Of Incarcerated TGNCNBI New Yorkers

The Legal Aid Society, advocates and others called on State Attorney General Letitia James to assist in releasing all transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and intersex (TGNCNBI) people from State prisons who are seriously vulnerable to infection and death from COVID-19, reports Gay City NewsIn a letter, the advocates point out that TGNCNBI people are particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19 due to an increased risk of weakened immune systems due to discrimination in healthcare, employment, education, and housing. This, in turn, leads to higher rates of HIV, additional chronic conditions such as hepatitis B and C, substance use, and poorly controlled pre-existing medical conditions.

As recent protests against racial injustice have highlighted, the failure to release vulnerable TGNCNBI people from State prisons disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx people, particularly transgender women of color. 72% of the New York State prison population is Black or Latinx. The vulnerabilities of TGNCNBI people are compounded because transgender people are housed in opposition to their gender identity, leading to horrifyingly high rates of sexual abuse and assault.