Thursday, August 22, 2013

No Hope In Military Prisons If You Are Trans.

Right now if you are a trans-servicemembers things look bleak. Nothing is going to happen for at least two or more likely three years until the study for the integration of trans-people into the military is completed. And it looks even bleaker is you are incarcerated in a military prison like Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas.

According to the Courthouse News,
Ft. Leavenworth spokeswoman Kimberly Lewis told Courthouse News that treatment for transgender inmates does not extend beyond psychiatric care.

"All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers with experience in addressing the needs of military personnel in pre- and post-trial confinement," Lewis said in an email. "The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder."
In the civilian prison system there have been a number of court cases both state and federal that have ruled that the 14th Amendment for equal treatment applies to prisoners and they must get medically necessary treatment in prison. Also the courts have ruled that denying treatment for inmates constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

The Courthouse article goes on to say,
After the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Pentagon has tried to clean up its image regarding transgender armed service members, even while officially banning them from serving under so-called "medical" restrictions.
Banning gays and lesbians in the military was by law, but banning trans-people in the military is by policy not by law and can be changed by a policy change only. The reason why the ban was in place was that trans-servicemembers suffered from a “mental illness” and were unfit for duty; however, under the changes in the DSM V that argument is no long valid.

So how are transgender inmates treated at Ft. Leavenworth? According to the article,
 Ft. Leavenworth spokeswoman Kimberly Lewis told Courthouse News that treatment for transgender inmates does not extend beyond psychiatric care.
That means loading them up with anti-depressant, anti-anxiety drugs, not hormones (which are much more expensive than hormones).

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