Detention rates (and violence in detention) are high for trans people. You can make a positive difference in their lives.
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 on the basis of gender identity/expression. Trans women 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% Latinx. 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.
- Become a penpal to one or more incarcerated trans people. If you want to find out more about what this might entail, check out. Ready to sign up? go to Black and Pink or the Prisoner Correspondence Project.
- Provide books to trans prisoners through one of the following organizations:
- Learn about how the Prisoner Rape Elimination Act protects incarcerated transgender people, so that you can help any detained individuals you know and so that you can encourage your local rape crisis program to get involved in serving incarcerated populations. In partnership with Just Detention International, one of FORGE’s webinars focuses on trans people in detention. [Additional webinars on trans people and detention, can be found on the Just Detention International website]
- Ready to work on reform? Check out the National Center for Transgender Equality has published a very handy guide, LGBTQ Criminal Justice Reform: Real Steps LGBTQ Advocates Can Take to Reduce Incarceration.
#30DaysOfAction #TDOR #TDOR2020