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Whitney Washington

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Whitney Washington

Whitney Washington

Name of Host Organization: Transgender Law Center
City, State: Oakland, California
Issue area: Gay/Lesbian Rights
Sponsors: Uber Technologies, Inc., Littler Mendelson PC

The Project

This project will create the infrastructure to address sexual abuse faced by incarcerated transgender and gender non-conforming people though legal advocacy, documentation of experiences, and impact litigation.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Once incarcerated, TGNC PIC are eight times
more likely than the general inmate population to experience sexual abuse
by a staff member, and are 12 times more likely to experience sexual
abuse by another inmate. Notwithstanding the passage of the Prison Rape
Despite evidence of rampant sexual abuse, complaints filed by TGNC PIC
are rarely found to be substantiated and are rarely followed up on.
The Right Person For This Project

Whitney is the right person for the project because:
• Interned with the Transgender Law Center where she gained experience responding to prison mail, and how to address the needs captured by the letters
• She edited an LGBT policy guide for corrections facilities
• She took part in the planning of a National Institute of Corrections broadcast training for Transgender Persons in Custody

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Whitney will:
• Create the education packets
• Visit TGNC individuals in jails, prisons, and detention centers to begin the process of identifying clients
• Identify community partners and begin building relationships
• Recruit community volunteers to assist with mailings, and law students and firms to assist with advocacy
• Begin legal research to prepare for potential litigation
• Develop outreach about the existence of the legal services of the project