Resources

Here are some organizations, groups, and websites working on issues that relate to queers and the criminal justice system that could be useful to visitors of this site.  We are proud to be part of such a vibrant network of advocates and activists, and if you would like to be included on our list, shoot us an e-mail.

Against Equality

“Against Equality is an online archive, publishing, and arts collective focused on critiquing mainstream gay and lesbian politics. As queer thinkers, writers and artists, we are committed to dislodging the centrality of equality rhetoric and challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, the US military, and the prison industrial complex via hate crimes legislation.”

B4U-ACT

“B4U-ACT is a unique collaborative effort between minor-attracted people and mental health professionals to promote communication and understanding between the two groups. Our goal is unique and unprecedented: to make effective and compassionate mental health care available to individuals who self-identify as minor-attracted and who are seeking assistance in dealing with issues in their lives that are challenging to them. We want to give them hope for productive and fulfilling lives, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur.”

The Bent Bars Project

“The Bent Bars Project is a letter-writing project for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, gender-variant, intersex, and queer prisoners in Britain. The project aims to develop stronger connections and build solidarity between LGBTQ communities outside and inside prison walls.  Bent Bars aims to work in solidarity with prisoners by sharing resources, providing mutual support and drawing public attention to the struggles of queer and trans people behind bars.”

California RSOL

“The California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization is dedicated to restoring civil rights for those accused and / or convicted of sex crimes. In order to achieve that objective, CA RSOL will initiate and support legal action, legislation and public outreach.”

Citizens United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)

“Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is a broad-based coalition of over 40 organizations seeking to CURB prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state.  CURB seeks member organizations who are working on issues related to the prison industrial complex and organizations concerned about our state budget priorities.”

Critical Resistance

“Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope.”

Gay Men of African Descent

“In 1986, Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) was conceptualized in New York City, a result of the vision of founder, The Reverend Charles Angel who, together with a few of his closest friends, embarked on a mission to empower black gay men.  Historically, black gay men had been forced to prioritize their battles as if each was mutually exclusive: they were simply not just black or not just men or not just gay. They were all three of these things. Rev. Angel’s goal was to create an environment in which black gay men embraced each aspect of their lives publicly and without shame.  Thus was born the first serious attempt to mobilize this group of men, who, up till that point, had lived their lives in the shadows, often in fear, shame and alone. In starting GMAD, a platform was created tohelp fill the void in these men’s lives, by providing the opportunity for fellowship, group support and family.  Choosing not the path of least resistance but one of challenge and uncertainty, Reverend Angel and his friends took on the role – and the weight – of community activists in order to create parity for the black gay community.”

HIV Justice Network

“The HIV Justice Network is a global information and advocacy hub for individuals and organizations working to end the inappropriate use of the criminal law to regulate and punish people living with HIV.  The HIV Justice Network’s mission is to collate, create and disseminate information and resources enabling individuals and communities to effectively advocate against inappropriate criminal prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, potential or perceived exposure and transmission.”

INCITE! Women, Gender Non-Conforming, and Trans people of Color* Against Violence

“INCITE! Women, Gender Non-Conforming, and Trans people of Color* Against Violence is a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against women of color and our communities through direct action, critical dialogue and grassroots organizing.”

International CURE

“Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) is a grassroots organization that was founded in Texas in 1972. It became a national organization in 1985.  We believe that prisons should be used only for those who absolutely must be incarcerated and that those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they need to turn their lives around. We also believe that human rights documents provide a sound basis for ensuring that criminal justice systems meet these goals.  CURE is a membership organization. We work hard to provide our members with the information and tools necessary to help them understand the criminal justice system and to advocate for changes.”

International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

“The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), founded in 1990, is a leading international human rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We are dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the LGBT human rights movement worldwide to effectively conduct documentation of LGBT human rights violations and by engaging in human rights advocacy with partners around the globe. We work with the United Nations, regional human rights monitoring bodies and civil society partners. IGLHRC holds consultative status at the United Nations as a recognized Non-Governmental Organization representing the concerns and human rights of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people worldwide.”

Lambda Legal

“Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.  As a nonprofit organization, we do not charge our plaintiffs for legal representation or advocacy, and we receive no government funding. We depend on contributions from supporters around the country.”

LGBT Books to Prisoners

“For nearly ten years, we have supported the educational and reading interests of close to 3000 LGBTQ prisoners incarcerated in prisons in every state. We do this because: We want to acknowledge, and work against, the oppressive functions of the prison system. Our project shifts some control back into prisoners’ hands.  Incarcerated persons have little access to reading material, and LGBTQ-identified prisoners have a particularly hard time finding resources that meet their needs and wants. We are in a position to gather and distribute these resources.  We believe that our work affirms the dignity of all individuals by providing access to knowledge of their choosing, so that they can learn and grow as they desire. We respond to prisoners’ requests as directly as possible.  LGBTQ people behind bars face many hardships, including — but not limited to — isolation and physical violence. We want them to know that they have a supportive community on the outside that cares about their wellbeing.”

National Black Justice Coalition

“The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC’s mission is to end racism and homophobia. As America’s leading national Black LGBT civil rights organization focused on federal public policy, NBJC has accepted the charge to lead Black families in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBT equality.”

National Center for Reason and Justice

“NCRJ is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that educates and advocates for child-protective laws and criminal justice practices based on science, fairness, and good sense; and supports people who are falsely accused or convicted of crimes against children. In the nation that leads the world in incarcerating its citizens — one in 10 is behind bars — we ally ourselves with others seeking to reform the criminal justice system to defend and promote the civil and human rights of all offenders.”

Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc.

“RSOL envisions effective, fact-based sexual offense laws and policies which promote public safety, safeguard civil liberties, honor human dignity, and offer holistic prevention, healing, and restoration.  RSOL will promote laws and programs: limiting registry access strictly to law enforcement agencies; terminating registry requirements upon completion of a court-imposed sentence; reversing retroactively applied restrictions; reforming civil commitment processes; rehumanizing, rehabilitating, and reintegrating former offenders; increasing public safety by reducing sexual offenses; and reducing acts of discrimination, hatred, and violence directed at sexual offenders.”

Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA)

“Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA is a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.  SWOP, at its most basic, is an anti-violence campaign. As a multi-state network of sex workers and advocates, we address locally and nationally the violence that sex workers experience because of their criminal status.”

Streetwise and Safe

“Streetwise & Safe (SAS) —also known as SAS—is a project in New York City that shares the ins & outs, do’s & don’ts and street politics of encounters between LGBTQQ youth of color and the police. We also stand for and with LGBTQQ and youth with experience trading sex for survival needs. We feel knowing your rights makes you more confident in protecting yourself during and after interactions with the police. We also know that the reality is that the police don’t always respect our rights but knowing what they are is important so that we can fight for them later. We also create a space to share strategies to stay safe from all forms of violence experienced by LGBTQQ youth and advocate for policies that will change the ways police interact with us.”

Sylvia Rivera Law Project

“The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, we seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for our communities. We believe that in order to create meaningful political participation and leadership, we must have access to basic means of survival and safety from violence.”

Texas Voices for Reason and Justice

“Texas Voices for Reason and Justice is a grass-roots, all-volunteer, non-profit organization established in 2008.  We strive to educate and raise awareness about the ineffectiveness of the public sex offender registry and the negative impact it has on community safety.  Our members consist of registrants, parents, grandparents, sons and daughters, victims of sexual assault or abuse, and professionals who understand that current laws and policies are not keeping anyone safe. They are, in fact, ostracizing and stigmatizing entire families, including the children of registrants.”

TGI Justice Project

“TGI Justice Project is a group of transgender people—inside and outside of prison—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.  We work in collaboration with others to forge a culture of resistance and resilience to strengthen us for the fight against imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures. We seek to create a world rooted in self determination, freedom of expression, and gender justice.”

The Center for HIV Law and Policy – Positive Justice Project

“The Positive Justice Project (PJP) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to end HIV criminalization in the United States. PJP is a truly community-driven, multidisciplinary collaboration to end government reliance on an individual’s positive HIV test result as proof of intent to harm, and the basis for irrationally severe treatment in the criminal justice system. We engage in federal and state policy advocacy, resource creation, support of local advocates and attorneys working on HIV criminal cases, and educating, organizing and mobilizing communities and policymakers in the United States.”

The Sentencing Project

“Established in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.  The Sentencing Project was founded in 1986 to provide defense lawyers with sentencing advocacy training and to reduce the reliance on incarceration. Since that time, The Sentencing Project has become a leader in the effort to bring national attention to disturbing trends and inequities in the criminal justice system with a successful formula that includes the publication of groundbreaking research, aggressive media campaigns and strategic advocacy for policy reform.”

The SERO Project

“Sero is a network of people with HIV and allies fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice. Sero is particularly focused on ending inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV for non-disclosure of their HIV status, potential or perceived HIV exposure or HIV transmission.  Sero’s HIV criminalization work includes original research, raising public awareness through community education efforts and outreach to people with HIV who have been criminalized to create a network of advocates who can speak first-hand about the effects of criminalization on their lives.  By engaging and empowering them to advocate on their own behalf and their compelling personal stories we help build a growing grassroots movement to mobilize the advocacy necessary to end HIV criminalization and promote a human rights-based approach to end the HIV epidemic.”

Transgender Law Center

“Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.  We envision a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.”

Women Against Registry

“Through peaceful demonstrations, educational forums, and political events we will present compelling evidence of the dangers and damage toAmerican society  caused by excessive, unconscionable sexual offense registries. The philosophy is basically that we do not see the need for a public registry. Folks need to be given  a second chance and we want to help society understand the obstacles they are placing in front of the entire family. We feel if there is a registrant who, a judge feels  needs monitoring and then based on careful evaluation by a trained licensed professional who does not benefit from the diagnosis, they should be tracked by law  enforcement but not on any registry, especially something public.”