Headshot of AD

A.D. Lewis

  • Hosted by Prison Law Office
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Service location Berkley, California
  • Law school Stanford Law School
  • Issue area Disability Rights, LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Leveraging the expertise of Prison Law Office, A.D. (he/him/his and they/them/theirs) will advocate alongside incarcerated and detained trans people with disabilities in jails. His work will challenge harmful and discriminatory conditions of confinement.

Trans people (including transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary individuals) experience significant discrimination, mistreatment, and violence in California prisons, jails, immigration detention centers, and psychiatric facilities, including sexual and physical violence, solitary confinement, inadequate mental health and medical care, harassment, and denials of fundamental self-expression. These deplorable conditions make locked facilities uniquely disabling for trans people. They cause high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, and other mental health conditions, and exacerbate trans individuals’ existing mental health conditions. By focusing on marginalized and underserved trans people, this project will challenge the structural barriers that trans people with disabilities face when seeking justice, fair treatment, and adequate care.

Fellowship Highlights to Date

In the first year of the Fellowship, A.D. has:

  • Provided brief service, referrals, and legal advice to hundreds of individuals, including 68 in person visits, 18 video visits, 88 phone calls and 145 letters, and distributed hundreds of resources.
  • Leveraged structured negotiations and litigation to secure strong protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in multiple County jails
  • Testified to the State Legislature about County Jail conditions
  • Developed and provided trainings and presentations on the intersections of disability justice, trans liberation, and abolition

Next Steps

In the next year, A.D. plans to:

  • Expand the project into other types of locked facilities
  • Develop Know Your Rights packets and other resources for incarcerated individuals
  • Work with sponsors and community organizations to increase the project’s pro bono capacity

Media

Celebrating the 2021 Fellows Upholding LGBTQ+ Rights

As a trans lawyer, I will fight for the most marginalized people in my community. They deserve fierce legal advocacy and caring community.

A.D. Lewis /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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