FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 19, 2017
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to Celebrate Pride Month
With Event Honoring Leaders in the Community
Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez Launches LGBTQ Initiative
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced the launch of an initiative to better serve the LGBTQ community, including office-wide training of prosecutors to ensure they are culturally competent in relating to LGBTQ crime victims and outreach to the LGBTQ community to get the word out that the District Attorney’s Office is a safe space to report crime, and, where appropriate, offer alternative sentencings with relevant programming for LGBTQ defendants.
The Acting District Attorney also announced that his Office will celebrate Pride Month with an event planned for tomorrow, Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Brooklyn Law School, Feil Hall, 205 State Street, 22nd Floor, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Food and refreshments will be served.
During the Pride Event, attorney Kylar W. Broadus of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund will receive the Legal Excellence Award and the Ali Forney Center, Brooklyn Community Pride and Caribbean-American Pride will receive Community Social Impact Awards. Jamel Gaines of the Jamel Gaines Creative Dance Outlet is set to perform.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “I am proud to announce the launch of our LGBTQ initiative which involves a combination of office-wide training in terminology and sensitivity, and outreach to the LGBTQ community. As prosecutors charged with keeping the community safe, it is important that we establish a safe space for the LGBTQ community to report when they are victims of crime, especially since crimes against this community have historically been underreported and violence against transgender women of color continues to rise. Also, in an effort to prevent future crimes, our office will offer, where appropriate, alternative sentences to LGBTQ youth defendants including programs that specialize in their particular needs to help reduce recidivism and connect them with appropriate services.”
Following is a brief outline of the initiative, which was launched this month:
- Office-wide training on LGBTQ issues focusing on cultural competency, the community and law enforcement and how the community interacts with the criminal justice system, including specialized trainings for prosecutors in specialized bureaus such as the Domestic Violence Bureau and the Young Adult Court Bureau.
- Community outreach with organizations and community spaces outside of the office to combat underreporting. Information regarding the process of filing a report and the role of the prosecutor, and services available to survivors of crime.
- Research, create and enhance alternative to incarceration sentencing programs for LGBTQ defendants, including drug treatment programs, anger management programs and consideration of appropriate programs for vulnerable populations such as LGBTQ homeless youth and transgender individuals.
- Creation of educational materials for use in office and out in the community, such as pamphlets containing information about LGBTQ service agencies, “How to Report” materials, information about KCDA’s Domestic Violence Bureau, Family Justice Center and KCDA contact information.
- An annual June Pride Event hosted by KCDA during Pride Month to celebrate the history and culture of the LGBTQ community and to honor community leaders, advocates and organizations.