LGBTQIA+ Equity and Accountability
Hate Crimes Unit
Given the alarming uptick in hate crimes both locally and nationally, the Manhattan DA must use the full resources of the office to investigate organized hate groups. Currently, the Office has a sparsely staffed unit that has taken a disjointed and opaque approach to prosecuting hate crimes.
The revamped Hate Crimes Unit will hold groups accountable for any acts of violence promoted or perpetrated by their members. And the Unit will proactively investigate the business practices of such groups for document crimes such as reporting requirements, tax filings etc.
The Hate Crimes Unit will work collaboratively with affected communities. The Unit will be staffed with attorneys, analysts, social workers, and community outreach personnel. The Unit will employ best practices for prosecution; Restorative Justice practices where appropriate; an educational focus to address the root causes of bias related violence; and the Unit and Diana will meet regularly with a diverse council of citizens to address Hate Violence and emerging trends.
Keeping in mind and recognizing that LGBTQIA+ youth are overrepresented both in the homeless population and among incarcerated youth, Diana will create a Young Adult Bureau with a particular focus on our most marginalized youth communities. With the involvement of prosecutors, social workers, defense counsel, and the courts, and juvenile justice practitioners.
The Young Adult Bureau will not only work to end the problem of over-incarceration but to address the root causes of criminal justice involvement. Addressing issues related to homelessness, lack of educational opportunities, addiction issues, etc. not only will improve the lives of individuals but it will strengthen and protect our communities.
Furthermore, this bureau will focus on the needs of young people and in collaboration with NYC and NYS agencies, create internships and apprenticeships, teaching young people the skills they need to prepare them for the workforce demands of the future.
As District Attorney, Diana will work with LGBTQIA+ Elder Organizations and NYC Elder Service Providers. It is critically important to protect our most vulnerable communities especially related to care, safety and financial security. Diana will host educational forums directed at issues related to safe use of the internet, how to recognize and report elder abuse, and how to recognize and report financial scams, etc.
The Transgender Community is a vibrant and vital part of this city and we should take particular care to see that they are treated with equity and respect.
As District Attorney Diana will advocate for:
- The decriminalization of sex work, recognizing that trafficking and sex work are legally and practically different and should not both fall under the criminal law.
- Human Trafficking Intervention Courts must also be re-evaluated, given relevant criticism from sex worker rights organizations that they do more to hinder than help.
- The repeal of loitering for prostitution aka Walking While Trans because loitering for prostitution laws are often used to intimidate and harass transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers.
- Expanding legislative relief to survivors of human trafficking. Vulnerable communities (LGBTQIA+, immigrants, poor people) may fall victim to exploitation, and should not be further victimized by criminal records which can leave them ineligible for housing assistance, educational assistance and for certain types of employment.
Diana will organize and host a seminar on Criminal Justice Issues and the Transgender Community. Understanding that Transgender Rights are one of the most critical issues of our day, and must be addressed as they intersect with criminal justice. Drawing together the transgender community and trans legal organizations and advocates, police, prosecutors, defense counsel, court personnel as well as corrections departments, parole and probation, we will consider best practices and creative solutions which address the workings of justice and the dignity of all persons.
Respecting the dignity of all New Yorkers requires recognizing everyone’s right to gender self-determination. Diana supports The Treatment and Placement of Incarcerated People based on Gender Identity(S.4702A/A.5257A), which would ensure that people are placed and given access to commissary items based on their self-determined gender.