Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 47

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
with the courts. PTIS must prove that the facility
was aware of the danger, explains Washington.
"By doing this, we're actually, in a sense, helping
them prep for litigation without doing any
actual legal work."

these activities because of how we as a society
discriminate against them. Instead of addressing
discrimination or providing support, we put
them in prisons and jails so that we can feel okay
about ignoring them and treating them poorly."

Washington recalls one transgender person
who had filed more than 100 grievances to her
facility about being sexually assaulted. The
prison allegedly ignored all of them. After PTIS
sent an advocacy letter on the client's behalf,
Washington sought advice from the state's
attorney general and one of its district attorneys. Together, they recruited a Prison Rape
Elimination Act (PREA) coordinator to speak
with the transgender prisoner. The coordinator
also worked with the prison to ensure it
followed the various regulations of the PREA.

Washington's work at NCTE involves advocating
for the decriminalization of sex work and
addressing the safety of sex workers through
policy change. "When police can arrest some-one for engaging in sex work, sex workers
cannot access safety from the police. In addition
to this, law enforcement can use the illegality of
sex work to take advantage of people. Sexual
assault is the second leading claim of police
misconduct. The way our society treats sex
workers leaves them especially vulnerable to
violence from law enforcement without much
legal recourse," Washington explains.

Passed in 2003, the PREA calls for a "zerotolerance" policy toward prison rape as well
as for a national standard to prevent incidents
of sexual violence in prisons. It also makes
policies concerning prison rape and sexual
assault available and visible to inmates. The act
makes data on prison rape more available to
prison administrators, and it holds corrections
facilities more accountable for sexual violence.

A 2013 Bureau of Justice Statistics study, "Sexual
Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by
Inmates 2011-12," found that transgender
people are approximately 10 times more likely
to be sexually assaulted than the general
prison population, with nearly 40 percent of
transgender people in state and federal prisons
reporting a sexual assault in the previous year.

Washington says PTIS has worked with approximately 400 transgender people in 26 states in
the past two years. Washington believes a lot
of transgender people land in prison because
of varying levels of systemic discrimination.
Many of them are forced out of their homes
and schools and experience extreme difficulties
securing substantial employment and housing
on their own. "LGBTQ youths are overrepresented in the homeless population and in child
welfare systems," Washington says. "Folks who
are in those spaces are more likely to end up in
the criminal legal system. So, when you look at
those trajectories, unless we address the needs
of trans youth and as a society fully accept trans
folks as full citizens and full people, we're going
to continue having this issue."

Protecting the needs of incarcerated trans-
gender people during the coronavirus
pandemic has been one of Washington's
priorities at NCTE. "I've been sending letters to
people on Capitol Hill regarding what sort of
protections need to be in place," they say. "Trans
folks in custody are an especially vulnerable
population during the pandemic."

Because of poverty and systemic discrimi-nation in housing, jobs, and education, some
marginalized people are forced into the survival
economy, which possibly includes selling illegal
drugs and sex work.

Reach D.C. Bar staff writer John Murph at
JMurph@dcbar.org.

"That is not to say that all people who engage
in sex work or sell drugs are victims who need
to be saved. I would never deny another
person's autonomy, but there are some people,
particularly trans people, who are engaging in

Washington's next goals include moving into
litigation and launching their own nonprofit
organization with three litigators and policy
advocates. "We'd have law students interning
with us to teach them about our work with
incarcerated transgender people. It would be
like a resource center for folks who are working
with trans folks in custody."

LEGAL CAPITAL
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- Charles K. Whitehead, Myron
C. Taylor Alumni Professor of
Business Law, Cornell Law School

Do you know a D.C. Bar member who has
done outstanding work in their area of
practice? We are interested in hearing stories
about the careers and personal journeys of
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and the world. Pitch us a profile story at
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Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
ABA Delegates Corner
Calendar of Events
Re-Envisioning the Bar Exam feature
The New Normal in Legal Education feature
On Shaky Ground feature
How the Pandemic Has Transformed Courts Feature
The Science of Why Clients Ignore Counsel's Advice feature
Taking the Stand
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - Susan Biniaz
Member Spotlight - Whit Washington
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Speaking of Ethics
Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - ABA Delegates Corner
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Re-Envisioning the Bar Exam feature
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - The New Normal in Legal Education feature
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - On Shaky Ground feature
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - How the Pandemic Has Transformed Courts Feature
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - The Science of Why Clients Ignore Counsel's Advice feature
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 43
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Member Spotlight - Susan Biniaz
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Member Spotlight - Whit Washington
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 50
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - September/October 2020 - Cover4
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