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Campaigns and Series

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Updating It’s War in Here

In 2007, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project published a report which changed the landscape for LGBT organizing and abolitionist work in the US. It’s War in Here, a report on the conditions that transgender women face in men’s prisons, forced LGBT activist organizations to take the issues of policing and prisons seriously and forced abolitionists to become more inclusive of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex people in their work.

Now, 10 years later, SRLP has begun the process of re-publishing this report. In February 2017, SRLP invited 16 members of our Prisoner Advisory Committee (PAC) to join the Advisory Committee for the re-launch. These 16 individuals are all transgender and gender non-conforming people either currently incarcerated in the New York State prison system or under other types of supervision. Our Advisory Committee members recently filled out “self-interviews,” and you can read more about who is serving on our Committee here and here. Read about the process of updating the report, blog posts from our participants, and more here.

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What’s Up With Trans Healthcare?

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is re-launching our Trans Health Campaign to address the many problems, concerns, and issues that trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGNCI) New Yorkers have had to face. Our goal is continue to mobilize, educate, and support our communities in putting pressure on the very folks who are impacting our healthcare and to make sure that the experiences of our folks are listened to and lead to lasting impact and change. We want to improve the access folks have to gender-affirming healthcare and address issues with the quality of care.

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Join Us in Ending Isolated Confinement in NYS Prisons

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is proud to be an endorsing organization behind the HALT Solitary Confinement Act. As part of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), SRLP seeks to end the practice of placing individuals in known torturous conditions within our state prisons. Read more about the actions SRLP is taking and how you can join in to end this practice.

We are excited to join advocates across the state on March 13 for the lobby day. Please sign up for the action here, where you can also read more about CAIC and the work they do. You can also come to our membership event on Tuesday, February 27 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm to learn more about the day and register with SRLP.

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Keep Packages Open in the New York State Prisons

At the end of December, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) announced the roll-out of a pilot program that would restrict packages to people in the New York State prisons. This pilot program would have ended the practice of loved ones sending personalized packages that give people on the inside much needed reminders of the love that continues for them. SRLP joined a coalition of supporters across the state and together we were able to convince the Governor to stop this program. But the fight isn’t over – with this newly gained momentum and coalition, we want to see a revision of the packages guidelines in general! You can check out our coalition website here or click on the “take action now” button to learn more about why SRLP is getting involved.

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Hold the Department of Corrections Accountable for Treatment of TGNCI New Yorkers in the City Jails

Since our founding, SRLP has worked with members held in the NYC jail systems. Today, SRLP continues to work in coalition with other organizations and individuals to ensure that, as a base ask, the Department of Corrections (DOC) meets the Minimum Standards protocol for treatment of TGNCI people. Working with currently detained TGNCI people and our membership in the free world, we continue to place pressure on the DOC to both meet those minimum requirements and work with community to end the violence inherent in all jail systems. You can read more about our work in the NYC jails here.

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Help Us Make Visits to NYC Jails More Humane

In partnership with one of our sibling organizations, the Jails Action Coalition (JAC), SRLP is helping to gather stories of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGNCI) people who would like to visit loved ones in the NYC jails but encounter difficulties when trying to visit. Share your story and help improve visitation!

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Ensure Access to Menstrual Products for People in NYS Custody

People in New York State custory who menstruate need to request additional menstrual health products, and justify their need for them, from DOCCS staff – medical or correctional officers. The act of having to justify these needs is a humiliating experience for many people. The trans men and transmasculine people whom we represent are routinely denied their gender identity, names, and pronouns and are punished for expressions of masculinity. Menstrual health products are no more gendered than toilet paper or other necessities of daily living, yet we continue to live in a world where many people are shamed for the needs of their body, and everyone from other incarcerated people to DOCCS staff use the need for menstrual health products to reify shameful messages about the body and transphobic tropes.

In order to address this widespread concern, SRLP continues to support a legislative bill known as S.6176. This bill was introduced in May 2017 to provide menstrual health products for free to people held in New York State women’s prisons. The bill did not pass the last session, but SRLP looks forward to assisting in promoting the bill in the next session. The full text of the proposed bill as it last appeared can be read here.

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Policy Advocacy

Policy change by government agencies is a critical part of our work. Check out some examples of policies SRLP has worked on.

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