Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Law Is One Thing, How They Follow Through Is Another

Here in Connecticut back in 2018 Connecticut passed a law requiring trans people to be incarcerated in the prison of their gender identity… but it has mixed reviews.
California bill would end policy of putting transgender women in men’s prisons
San Francisco Chronicle
By Dustin Gardiner 
August 27, 2020

SACRAMENTO — As a transgender woman, Jasmine Jones said California’s prison system constantly put her life at risk during the 17 years she spent behind bars by housing her among men.

Jones said she was assaulted repeatedly and raped three times in men’s prisons. Guards mocked her identity, Jones said, and forced her to undergo humiliating strip searches that exposed her in public.

“They weren’t going to protect me,” Jones said of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officers. “I knew that for a fact. The only person that was going to protect me was myself.”

Advocates say Jones’ experience is common for transgender, intersex and gender nonbinary people in California prisons, where research shows they are raped and assaulted at rates far higher than that of the wider prison population.

They are urging state legislators to pass SB132 by Sen. Scott Wiener, which would allow transgender, intersex and gender nonbinary inmates to decide whether to be housed in a men’s or women’s prison.
Here in Connecticut Public Act No. 18-4 AN ACT CONCERNING THE FAIR TREATMENT OF INCARCERATED PERSONS Section 8 [I am trying to see why the section of the law that cover us was in Section 8, was that by accident or did someone play an evil joke on us.] which states in part…
Any inmate of a correctional institution, as described in section 18-78 of the general statutes, who has a gender identity that differs from the inmate's assigned sex at birth and has a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, as set forth in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", shall: (1) Be addressed by correctional staff in a manner that is consistent with the inmate's gender identity, (2) have access to commissary items, clothing, personal property, programming and educational materials that are consistent with the inmate's gender identity, and (3) have the right to be searched by a correctional staff member of the same gender identity, unless the inmate requests otherwise or under exigent circumstances. 
From what I have heard through the grapevine is that the Department of Corrections (DOC) is screening persons before they are incarcerated and that they have very strict guidelines that in some cases are still placing trans women in men’s prisons because they are not “trans enough.” It seems that you need to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria in order to qualify to be treated as a woman (I haven’t heard anything from trans men about their experiences yet).

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