Scott Greenberg came to South Florida to launch the Freedom Fund — an organization working to counter the disproportionate harm of LGBT mass incarceration.
“[It is] overwhelmingly overlooked, and too few are working to address the problem,” Greenberg, 29, said.
Greenberg and his staff try to secure the release of LGBT individuals in detention, connect them to needed support services, and build a critical mass in opposition to “the cultures and policies of their excessive and unjust incarceration.”
The work is in Greenberg’s blood. He previously founded the Connecticut Bail Fund, the first nonprofit of its kind in the state.
“Sexual minorities are three times more likely than heterosexuals to be incarcerated, and they are 10 to 20 times more likely to be sexually assaulted in prison or jail,” Greenberg said. “A tangle of discrimination and poverty disproportionately traps LGBTQ people in cycles of incarceration.”
Greenberg said each day LGBT people, especially transgender individuals of color, are jailed for sex-work when they can find no other employment. Additionally, LGBT youth are forced from home and arrested for sleeping on the street, he said.
“The sweep of such criminalization is extraordinary,” Greenberg said. “At some point in their lives half of homeless people are incarcerated and 70 percent of low-income LGBTQ people are homeless.”
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– Damon Scott
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