This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

completed
Trans Empowerment Project

Help a client who's incarcerated for life

We're hoping that someone would be willing to speak with and possibly assist one of our incarcerated clients.

Posted November 11, 2020

Background & Context

Alex Mercado is a Hispanic trans man who was imprisoned for first-degree murder 13 years ago. He has never had access to dedicated attorneys who would look into possibly helping him reduce his sentence. He was young and scared, and accepted a plea deal for life in prison, with a minimum of 45 years. He is currently being held in a women's facility and has faced transphobia and verbal abuse from the corrections officers in the facility.

Immediate Problem

This will give Alex the chance to speak to a knowledgeable attorney. We are no experts in the law and are unsure if anything can even be done to help him, but we'd at least like to try. Our organization is currently making sure that Alex has money in his commissary to buy food and gender-affirming toiletries, and we also sent him a binder (chest compression undergarment).

Work & Deliverables

We hope that the volunteer(s) will review Alex's case to see if there is some way to help him, possibly with a reduction in sentencing.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Meet to discuss the client and his situation

Collaboration Phase

  • Work with the client to review his case
  • Possibly help client successfully petition for a reduced sentence

Wrap Up

  • Debrief with coordinator at Trans Empowerment Project

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 21+ hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: We will meet to discuss our Inmate Advocacy program and how it serves our clients, as well as discussing the client who needs help. We will provide any assistance we can along the way.
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Mentoring Provided: No
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
Trans Empowerment Project

Trans Empowerment Project's mission is to "elevate trans and gender non-conforming communities out of crisis and into empowerment in order to advocate for our own liberation and autonomy". The organization was started in Dec. of 2016 to help address the needs of trans and gender non-conforming community members in Knoxville, TN. However, within a year of launch, the organization expanded it's outreach to meet the needs of community members outside of TN. In 2018, we provided over 520 emergency resources for trans and gender non-conforming individuals nationwide.

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