What It Is Like to Be a Trans Woman in a Male Prison: "Housed as Men, Assaulted as Women"
Date:  09-05-2018

Trans women are incarcerated at higher number than the "general population" and face harsher consequences
From Them:

Imagine living as a woman for over four decades, getting arrested for a nonviolent drug offense, then getting tossed in a men’s prison. That’s the reality for a trans woman in Massachusetts, named in court docs as Jane Doe, a 52-year-old who transitioned more than 40 years ago and whom the state’s prison system has placed in a male facility. The LGBTQ+ legal organization GLAD filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on February 2 in Jane Doe’s suit against the Massachusetts Department of Correction, an agency that has bizarrely decided to house her in a men’s prison despite her never having been socialized as an adult man. The DOE’s decision has left her subject to harassment and discrimination on a daily basis. The question of where to house trans women inmates has always been one of the most hotly disputed trans issues, and in most cases, trans men and women are potentially subject to a myriad of civil liberty and physical threats no matter where they are placed.

One of the byproducts of the discrimination of the trans population is that it makes them more vulnerable to arrest. Trans women are more likely than the general population to be unemployed and live in poverty, both risk factors for engaging in illegal activity. Finding traditional employment can be challenging. As a result, struggling trans women may turn to sex work in desperation to support themselves. Trans women are also frequently targeted by police, who often incorrectly assume they are engaging in sex work simply for appearing to be trans while walking down the street.

According to a joint study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 21% of all trans women have been incarcerated at some point in their lives compared to a 5% incarceration rate among the general population — that stat jumps to an astonishing 47% for black trans women. With such a high likelihood of facing prison time, the issue of where to house trans women is extremely critical. Continue reading >>>