The clinic works a variety of criminal law matters ranging from representation of an inmate fighting a discriminatory parole denial to challenging police departments’ discriminatory use of sex-sting operations to advocating for an end to the New York City Police Department’s use of condoms as evidence of prostitution.
Working with the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Urban Justice Center, the clinic has made extensive efforts to eliminate the New York City Police Department’s use of condoms as evidence of prostitution. Chief among the many problems with the Department's reliance on condoms as evidence is that, contrary to the city's public health policy, this law enforcement policy discourages anyone who thinks they might be at risk of arrest for prostitution from carrying condoms. Among the many projects in this area, the clinic has created a legislative report and analysis of a bill in the New York State legislature that would eliminate the use of condoms as evidence and has assisted with the appeal of the NYPD’s refusal to provide information about this issue in response to a Freedom of Information Law Request.
Condoms as Evidence Bill - Clinic Statement of Support
Condoms as Evidence - Q&A
Condoms as Evidence - Table Day Poster
Condoms as Evidence - Freedom of Information Law Appeal Seeking Documents from the NYPD
Condoms as Evidence - Legislative Analysis
Condoms as Evidence - Press Release
Condoms as Evidence - 2012 Letter of Support
Wilborn v. Conrad et al. - The clinic, together with the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, successfully represented an inmate who was discriminatorily denied parole because of his sexual orientation.
First Amended Complaint
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint
Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint
Magistrate Report and Recommendations
Massachusetts Parole Board Grants Parole to Openly Gay Inmate After New Hearing, Aug. 27, 2009
Prosecution Of Pregnant Women For Drug Use
Cochran v. Kentucky – In this case, a pregnant woman was being prosecuted by the state of Kentucky for child endangerment after testing positive for drugs shortly after giving birth to her daughter. The Sexuality And Gender Law Clinic, together with members of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and other human rights and social justice organizations, submitted a brief to the Kentucky Supreme Court, arguing the prosecution contravened both the state’s Maternal Health Act and international legal and health standards protecting women’s access to confidential and non-discriminatory maternal and prenatal health care. The Kentucky high court heard argument in December 2009.
Cochran Amicus Brief
A Case Against Sex Stings, a Sexuality And Gender Law Clinic publication, makes detailed recommendations so that police departments can avoid the discriminatory and counterproductive use of sex sting operations to address concerns about public sex.
A Case Against Sex Stings
A Case Against Sex Stings - Summary