In May of 2018, the Trump Administration began rolling back protections for Transgender Americans that are incarcerated.
This move means that an inmate’s biological sex is now being used to decide where these folks are housed, instead of recognizing their actual gender.
Transgender inmates already face a disproportionate amount of violence, including physical and sexual assault, while incarcerated and often face further harm, by being placed in isolation; under the guise of keeping these folks safe.
There are countless studies and articles including one by Juan E. Mendez for the United Nations, which concluded that “anything above 15 days in solitary confinement is torture” and that “
“At the same time, solitary confinement for fewer than
15 days may also amount to ill-treatment or even
torture in certain circumstances. The assessment
of whether solitary confinement amounts to torture
and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment should take into consideration all
relevant conditions on a case-by-case basis. These
circumstances include the purpose of the application
of solitary confinement, the conditions, length, and
effects of the treatment and, of course, the subjective
conditions of each victim that make him or her more
or less vulnerable to those effects. Any case where
the victims’ suffering reaches the required degree of
severity will amount to ill-treatment and even to torture.
In this context, in my report I highlighted that solitary
confinement can never lawfully be imposed on certain
categories of prisoners, including juveniles, pregnant
or breastfeeding women, or persons with mental
disabilities.” (To read this report in its entirety, please visit: Seeing into Solitary: A review of the Laws and Policies of Certain Nations Regarding Solitary confinement of Detainees)
Thanks to our friends and project partners at We The Action we are bringing an army of attorneys to help folks in the trans and gender non-conforming communities with issues of incarceration and discrimination.
Additional assistance that TEP can provide for inmates, nationwide, includes the following:
- Financial assistance to help inmates stay connected with a chosen family member (we can help make sure you have phone/video calls with a loved one)
- Trans mentor/buddy to connect with as a pen pal
- Connection with safe and affirming housing resources after release
- Gender affirming clothing
- 1 emergency food delivery
- Connections to accessible mental health resources
For more information on the Inmate Advocacy Project or to help, please click here.