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CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Building an LGBTGNCQ Culturally Humble Defense Practice

Kimberly Forte

It is no secret to those who practice in the criminal justice system that the most marginalized individuals are often the most criminalized. In their evaluation of how identities of the accused play a role in cases, criminal defense practitioners and other stakeholders such as prosecutors and judges must recognize that sexual orientation and gender identities and expressions (SOGI/E) are factors in the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, and queer (LGBTGNCQ) individuals. The Legal Aid Society’s (Society’s) Criminal Defense Practice (CDP) is currently undergoing a practice-wide education of the oppression facing these clients, and CDP hopes to serve as an example of inclusion of cultural humility in its client-centered representation.

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