A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV, Recommendations for Federal Agencies, Catherine Hanssens et al. (2014)

White Papers and Reports

These recommendations were adapted from A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV, which is one of the first comprehensive publications to offer federal policy recommendations to address the myriad criminal justice issues that impact LGBT people and PLWH. The recommendations offer a policy roadmap of actions that the federal government can take to address discriminatory and abusive policing practices, improve conditions for LGBT prisoners and immigrants in detention, de-criminalize HIV, and prevent LGBT youth and adults from coming in contact with the system in the first place. This roadmap was generated in collaboration with over 50 activists, policy advocates, lawyers, and grassroots organizations working on LGBT, criminalization, and racial justice issues at the local, state, and federal levels, and represents their collective wisdom and expertise.

Specifically, the roadmap is intended to 1) guide federal engagement with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, jails, and prisons, 2) inform the implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), 3) advocate for additional reforms beyond PREA, 4) generate momentum around the LGBT policy priorities that members of this working group have presented to the current Administration over the last four years, 5) highlight and address drivers of criminalization of LGBT people and people with HIV and 6) provide analysis that will serve as a resource for policy makers and advocates alike.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and people living with HIV (PLWH) face pervasive discrimination at all stages of the criminal legal system, from policing, to adjudication, to incarceration, according to the report published by the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School and co-authored by The Center for HIV Law and Policy, the Center for American Progress and Streetwise & Safe (SAS).

The report, A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV, is one of the first to offer comprehensive federal policy recommendations to address cycles of criminalization and discriminatory treatment faced PLWH and LGBT people. The report provides an extensive outline of policy measures that federal agencies can adopt to address discriminatory and abusive policing practices, improve conditions for LGBT prisoners and immigrants in detention, decriminalize HIV, and prevent LGBT youth and adults from coming in contact with the system in the first place. The report, co-authored by Catherine Hanssens, Aisha-Moodie Millis, Andrea Ritchie, Dean Spade and Urvashi Vaid, with input from more than 50 legal, advocacy and grassroots organizations working on LGBT/HIV criminal justice issues, also includes a set of recommendations for federal agencies. 


Download Links:
New Report Recommends Federal Action to Address Pervasive Profiling, Punishment and Imprisonment of LGBT People and People Living with HIV (Press Release, May 7, 2014)


A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV (Full Report - PDF)


Making the Case for Federal Policy Change: Essays and Excerpts (Report Summary - PDF)


Recommendations for Federal Agencies (PDF)