Police, Jails & Prisons

All too often, transgender people are targeted for violence and abuse because of their gender identity or presentation. Routinely, that violence and abuse comes from the very authorities entrusted with their safety. Police frequently harass and profile transgender people of color, sowing distrust among the very communities they have sworn to serve. 

According to the 2022 US Transgender Survey, a significant majority (62%) of respondents reported that they were “very uncomfortable” or “somewhat uncomfortable” asking for help from the police when needed because of their gender identity or expression.

Transgender people in prison are exposed to horrific rates of abuse by both staff and their fellow inmates, facing physical and sexual assault at much higher rates than their counterparts. As the USTS found, transgender people are ten times as likely to be sexually assaulted by their fellow inmates and five times as likely to be sexually assaulted by staff. Transgender prisoners also face numerous other challenges behind bars, including denials of medical care and lengthy stays in solitary confinement.

Across the country, local advocates and communities are working to hold officials accountable and foster relationships meant to ensure the safety and rights of all. A4TE litigates select cases challenging dangerous and discriminatory policies and practices affecting trans people in jail. A4TE also empowers local advocates to effect change where it is needed most by providing publications, research, and technical assistance. Read more about our victory on behalf of Makyyla Holland in Broome County, NY.


Latest Updates




Transgender Woman Reaches Landmark Settlement with Broome County Following Lawsuit over Discrimination, Abuse and Denial of Medical Care

Makyyla Holland (she/her/hers), a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, reached a landmark settlement with Broome County following violence, denial of medical care, and discrimination inflicted on her at the Broome County Jail because she is transgender.
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