LEGAL International

www.LEGALInternational.org

19-66 79th Street, Suite 1 East Elmhurst, NY 11370

George Farrugia,Esq. President Carroll Hunter Vice President David Granese Treasurer Jeff Chaney Secretary R Cole Bouck Levi Catavu Andre Goh Jaime Richardson Members At Large

February 18, 2012

To Whom It Concerns: I am writing you in my capacity as President of Law Enforcement Gays and Lesbians (LEGAL) International, and offering our organization’s full support for the research proposal detailed below, which is expected to be launched nationwide later this year. Specifically, this research is groundbreaking because it is one of the first studies to attempt to recruit a sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) respondents from various regions of the United States, in order to assess how occupational stressors and sexual orientation identity factors are associated with psychological health outcomes in law enforcement and criminal justice professionals. This is significant because there currently exists only very limited empirical research on the incidence of stress-related mental health and emotional problems in this population. It is expected that this work will significantly advance our understanding of how the co-existing stressors of being a sexual minority and a member of law enforcement/criminal justice profession is associated with mental health outcomes. This research proposal is an innovative collaboration between the Law Enforcement Gays and Lesbians (LEGAL) International, the Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy (MPIPP), and research staff from the Department of Psychology at Eastern Michigan University. The Michigan Gay Officers Action League (MI-GOAL) - LEGAL’s chapter representing Michigan professionals, is coordinating LEGAL’s portion of this study. As president of LEGAL International, I interact regularly with LGBT law enforcement and criminal justice professionals from around the country and world. Countless numbers have shared with me their very deep and personal stories about the harassment and discrimination they

face on the job. As members of a minority offering at least some ability to hide from their identity, the toll it exacts on the individual - personally and professionally, is steep. The stress these professionals must face varies between the deep pain of having to hide and lie about one’s true self on a daily basis, to that of having to be open and honest even in the face of ongoing harassment, discrimination and an absence of civil rights and protections. This research will be a big step in advancing the study of this unique and important professional realm. In closing, I hope you will lend your full support and resources to this very important research, thereby allowing it to maximize its platform for study.

Fraternally,

George J. Farrugia
George J. Farrugia, Esq. President /sof/

STATE OF MICHIGAN
RICK SNYDER
GOVERNOR

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
LANSING

DAN HEYNS
DIRECTOR

February 27,2012 Stephen D. Jefferson, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology Department of Psychology Eastern Michigan University Re: Research Project on Coexisting Effects of Serving as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Professional Dear Dr. Jefferson: On behalf of the Michigan Department of Corrections, I am pleased to write a letter of support for this proposed research project. The Department recognizes that the assessment of the interaction between the general stressors related to law enforcement and criminal justice and stressors associated with being a sexual minority is an understudied area of inquiry. Expanding knowledge in this area will allow the Department to continue in its efforts to support diversity in the work place and to assist employees in remaining health and productive. We would thus look forward to participating in a well constructed study to expand knowledge in this important area. Because this study does not involve data or information from the Department, nor is it dependent on the Department for identification of study subjects, it is not subject to review and approval according to Department Policy. That being said, we want to indicate our support and our willingness to provide assistance with technical, design and other research related issues as you think would be appropriate .. Once again, the Michigan Department of Corrections supports this proposed research project and we look forward to working with you. We anticipate continuing the Department's long history of working cooperatively with outside researchers, and we enthusiastically look forward to what we are sure will be important research findings. Sincerely,

~-;f)~
Stephen T. DeBor, Administrator Office of Research and Planning cc: R. Cole Bouck, Office of Research and Planning R. Douglas Kosinski, Program Evaluation Manager

GRANDVIEW

PLAZA·

P.O. BOX 30003 • LANSING, (517) 335-1426

MICHIGAN

48909

www.michigan.gov·

PATRICIA L. CARUSO
3348 Lakeshore Drive Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan 49783 906.635.1922 or 906.635.5500 517.643.6885 cell
CARUSOPL@Yahoo.com

February 20,2012 To Whom It May Concern: 1 am very pleased to write in support of the research proposal being prepared by the Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy (MPIPP), the Michigan Gay Officers Action League (MI-GOAL), Law Enforcement Gays and Lesbians (LEGAL) International, and representatives of Eastern Michigan University's Department of Psychology. The research will examine the co-existing factors of working in law enforcement, public safety, corrections, and criminal justice and being a member of a sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender - LGBT). My support for this research is based on my more than 24 years in the corrections profession. I retired from the Michigan Department of Corrections one year ago, having served as its Director the previous 71fz years. As Director, 1 oversaw an agency with as many as 40 facilities and more than 15,000 employees statewide. During my tenure with the Department and before becoming Director, I spent more than nine years as the Warden of a large multi-level security male prison, and went on to serve as one of three Regional Prison Administrators, and then Deputy Director of the Department's Correctional Facilities Administration. Currently, I am Vice-President of the American Correctional Association (ACA). ACA is the oldest and largest correctional association, with more than 20,000 members around the world in all facets of the corrections profession. In addition to accrediting federal, state and local correctional facilities against national standards, ACA provides professional development, networking and technical assistance. I am also President-Elect of the Association of Women Executives in Corrections (A WEC). My support for this project is rooted in my experiences and knowledge gained in each of these capacities. Neither a person's sexual orientation nor their gender identity are relevant factors in determining a person's capability or qualification to serve in these most honorable and dangerous professions. Having to do so with a sense of quiet dishonesty or shame, or while enduring the consequences of real or perceived harassment or discrimination, exacts both a personal and professional toll- compromising the person, the agency and the community or clients they serve. Corrections is the ultimate human service profession. Positive outcomes in dealing with offenders are closely tied to work style, role modeling, and mentoring by staff. Maintaining a work environment that supports non-discrimination, fair and equitable treatment, and diversity results in a system which can focus on our overall goal of increased public safety. As a long time corrections professional and agency head, 1 know that the data resulting from this project is needed and will be used to further improve working conditions at all levels. Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to contact me should you require any additional information.

sincere~

Patr/cia L. Caruso Retired Director Michigan Department of Corrections

Gene L. Wriggelsworth
Sheriff 1998-1999 President Michigan Sheriff's Association

Allan C. Spyke
Undersheriff

INGHAM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
630 N. CEDAR STREET * MASON, MICHIGAN 48854-1098 TELEPHONE (517) 676-2431' FAX: (517) 676-8299 EMAIL wriggelsworth@ingham.org

February 23,2012 To Whom It Concern: I am very pleased to write in support of the research proposal being prepared by the Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy (MPIPP), the Michigan Gay Officers Action League (MI-GOAL), Law Enforcement Gays and Lesbians (LEGAL) International, and representatives of Eastern Michigan University's Department of Psychology. The research will examine the co-existing factors of working in law enforcement, public safety, corrections, and criminal justice and being a member of a sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans gender - LGBT). My support for this research is based on my more than 46 years experience in the law enforcement profession. I have served as Sheriff of Ingham County, in Michigan, for the past 24 years. Previously, I as a Lieutenant with the Michigan State Police for 22 years ... Specifically, this research is groundbreaking because it is one of the first studies to attempt to recruit a sample of LGBT respondents from various regions of the United States to assess how occupational stressors and sexual orientation identity factors are associated with psychological health outcomes in law enforcement and. criminal justice professionals. This is significant because there currently exists only very limited empirical research on the incidence of stressrelated mental health and emotional problems in this population. It is expected that this work will significantly advance our understanding of how the co-existing stressors of being a sexual minority and a member of a law enforcement/criminal justice profession is associated with mental health outcomes. There is an old saying that if you do not believe in sampling, the next time you need a blood test "give it all to them". Well we cannot research everyone but we can help make our society more tolerant and less stressful for all. I believe this research will help society to better understand why different points of view should be understood. Not that they are better or worse, just different! As a long time law enforcement professional and agency head, I know the findings from this research will be invaluable in improving working conditions at all levels. Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to contact me should you require any additional information.

February 29, 2012 Cole Bouck President Michigan Gay Officers Action League (MI-GOAL) PO Box 30003 Lansing, MI 48909 Dear Cole, I am writing to support the research in which MI-GOAL is collaborating with Judith Kovach, Ph.D. Dr. Kovach is a highly-respected researcher, and you are fortunate to have her as a partner. In my judgment, this is a critically important study. Dr. Kovach says that it will assess how the sense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identity among a sample of LGBT criminal justice professionals, their levels of “outness,” and perceptions of heterosexism in their work lives might be associated with respondents’ general emotional health. Since criminal justice professionals play such an important role in our society, understanding how this particular sub-group may be affected by discrimination, harassment, and other unjustified behaviors is important to all of us. In earlier times, African-Americans and other minority groups were sometimes subjected to terrible treatment in the workplace and elsewhere. In these times, LGBT individuals continue to be seen by some as “fair game” for such treatment. Public safety depends on having police officers, sheriffs’ deputies, corrections officers and others perform their duties effectively. This study will help determine the degree to which heterosexism undermines the emotional health of LGBT individuals, which could compromise their ability to perform at peak levels. The results may not, however, be all about the negatives of being a LGBT individual in the criminal justice workplace. It can also be hypothesized that those who are more “out” within the workplace might experience lower levels of certain kinds of stress and tension and, therefore, higher levels of job satisfaction. In any case, the results can be used to reshape workplace policies, procedures, and practices to assure that these criminal justice professionals are fully empowered to do so. They can also be very useful to the LGBT professionals who may be able to see in the results new possibilities their career strategies. As the owner of a public policy research firm, I am particularly pleased to see that MI-GOAL is partnering on this project, and it is my hope that it will be fully funded. Please let me know how I can help make that so. Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Padden

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful