Last month, Seth Johnstone, New Avenues’ LGBTQ Community Education Specialist, traveled to upstate New York to provide Bridge 13 training to employees of the New York State Department of Corrections.
For some time now, Seth has been working with Multnomah County and Clackamas County corrections facilities to train staff in the sheriff’s department and nurses working in jails to improve their cultural competency around LGBTQ individuals and specifically around transgender individuals.
The PREA Act (Prison Rape Elimination Act) that was implemented a few years ago requires facilities to look at their safety practices around LGBTQ inmates. This has inspired and required a lot of training to occur nationwide in facilities to increase the knowledge around sexual assault, rape, discrimination, and harassment that LGBTQ individuals experience in the system. Seth has been providing cultural competency trainings here in Oregon so people can understand why more specific policies are being created to protect and improve the safety of those who are LGBT and specifically transgender and gender nonconforming in prison and jails.
The New York State Department of Corrections was seeking this specific kind of training, was connected to Bridge 13, and last month Seth traveled east to train 260 individuals from 54 Department of Corrections facilities across upstate New York. We’re so proud of the work Seth and everyone working with Bridge 13 is doing to improve the lives of LGBTQ people through education and training. If your company is interested in offering Bridge 13 to your employees, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.