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NYC Department of Correction Welcomes New Director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives



Elizabeth Munsky

July 26, 2019Elizabeth Munsky has joined the Department of Correction (DOC) as the new Director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives. With the creation of this position, DOC is furthering its commitment to the health, safety and well-being of every individual in its custody.

As Director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives, a position that was created in December 2018, Munsky is responsible for working with Department divisions on developing and implementing directives applicable to gender identity and sexual orientation related issues; ensuring that LGBTQ+ identifying individuals have access to appropriate programs and services; and lead training initiatives to equip DOC employees and partners with the awareness needed to service LGBTQ+ identifying employees and individuals in our custody.


Munsky comes to DOC from the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender Based Violence, where she created and facilitated trainings on gender based violence, sexual abuse, elder abuse, family violence and human trafficking.

Prior to joining City service, Elizabeth worked in the LGBTQ+ community as a Program Manager at Live Out Loud and a Training and Leadership Manager at the LGBT Network. Her experience connecting LGBTQ+ youth with resources and information, partnering with Community Based Organizations and creating educational programs that fostered LGBTQ+ awareness and affirmation will build upon the Department’s mission to provide safety and security to every individual in its custody.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from Stony Brook University and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health from The City University of New York. She also volunteered with the W Network to assist underprivileged women and girls with resources that can help them lead happy and productive lives.

“We are proud of the work we are doing to ensure that every individual in our custody is provided with the tools needed to be successful upon their release. We remain committed to working with advocates and members of the LGBTQ+ community to ensure that our policies provide safe, fair, and respectful treatment of our LGBTQ+ population,” Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann stated.

“This Department is committed to ensuring the safety and security of everyone in our care. The population within DOC’s facilities is as diverse as the population of New York City and the Department recognizes its responsibility to provide safe housing, responsive healthcare, and engaging programs to everyone who enters the facilities,” Faye Yelardy, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment Prevention stated at a recent City Council Hearing.

Reporting to the Deputy Commissioner of Programs and Community Partnerships, Munsky is responsible for establishing program and service models that will support LGBTQ+ identifying individuals while in custody. Additionally, the Director is tasked with spearheading collaborations with community based organizations, elected officials and other city agencies to ensure successful re-entry into their communities.

Michael Tausek, Deputy Commissioner of Programs and Community Partnerships stated, “The Department is dedicated to a programming vision that promotes prosocial behavior and provides individual services targeted to specific needs. It is our job to ensure that people are better prepared to contribute to their communities on their way out of custody than they were when they came in. The addition of the LGBTQ+ Director to the Programs department is another way for us to be successful at doing that job”.

“I took this position to uplift the voices of those who have been left most on the margins and I intend to create an environment where LGBTQ+ individuals have the safety, support and affirmation to be their full and true authentic selves without fear of systemic or interpersonal violence,” Munsky stated.

About the New York City Department of Correction
The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) provides for the care, custody, and control of persons accused of crimes or convicted and sentenced to one year or less of jail time. The Department manages 11 facilities, 8 of which are located on Rikers Island.  In addition, the Department operates two hospital units (Bellevue and Elmhurst hospitals) and court holding facilities in each borough. During Calendar Year 2018, the Department handled over 15,000 admissions and managed an average daily inmate population of approximately 7,900 individuals. Our dedicated workforce of both uniformed and non-uniformed staff members represent the city’s BOLDEST.