Day 29 – Make life better for…
…. incarcerated trans people
Sixteen percent (16%) of transgender people have been in jail or prison [compared to 4.9% of American (non-trans) males and 0.5% of American (non-trans) females]. These rates skyrocket for American Indian trans people (30%) and African-American trans people (47%). Seven percent (7%) reported being arrested or held in a cell strictly due to bias of police officers on the basis of gender identity/expression. Transwomen of color are particularly likely to be arrested on charges – which may be completely unjustified – of being sex workers.
Once incarcerated, 35% of trans prisoners reported harassment by other inmates, again with people of color reporting far more challenges: 43% multiracial, 50% Black, and 56% Latin@. Thirty-seven percent (37%) reported being harassed by correctional officers or staff, again with people of color reporting higher rates. Physical and sexual assault are also common: 34% of incarcerated Black trans people reported having been sexually assaulted by other inmates or by staff.
There are many things you can do to help ease the isolation and violence facing incarcerated trans people.
- Host a holiday card party to prepare and send holiday cards to LGBTQ prisoners: Black & Pink can provide you with guidance: http://www.blackandpink.org/holiday/
- Learn about how the Prisoner Rape Elimination Act protects incarcerated transgender people, so that you can help any prisoners you know and so that you can encourage your local rape crisis program to get involved in serving prisoners. FORGE’s webinar on the issue is available free at http://forge-forward.org/event/detention-sexual-assault/ [Additional webinars on trans people and detention, can be found on the Just Detention International website – http://justdetention.org/webinar/#archived ]
- Become a penpal to one or more incarcerated trans people. There are helpful guidelines as well as lists of incarcerated people wanting penpals at: http://www.blackandpink.org/pen-pals/pen-pal-guidelines/ Also check out: http://www.prisonercorrespondenceproject.com/get-involved
- Provide books to trans prisoners through one of the following organizations:
- Become a member/supporter of a group dedicated to helping incarcerated people. An annotated list (including several that specialize in transgender prisoners) is available at http://www.blackandpink.org/wp-content/upLoads/BP-LGBTQ-Prisoner-Resource-List1.pdf
#30daysofaction #TDOR #Trans http://forge-forward.org/anti-violence/30-days-of-action/