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Chelsea Manning and the realities for transgender and gender non-conforming people in prison, jails and detention centers.

Chelsea Manning and the realities for transgender and gender non-conforming people in prison, jails and detention centers.

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project has been working tirelessly for the past ten years to support transgender people who are incarcerated and experience various forms of state violence and as an organization that supports racial and economic justice we are inspired by those standing up to militarism and state violence.

Transgender people are increasingly in the media, as Chelsea Manning’s recent announcement and Laverne Cox’s character, Sophia, on Orange is the New Black have garnered much attention.

A significant amount of media fascination with transgender people in prison is about accessing surgery and focusing on the criminalized act underlying an individual’s sentence. Not only do transgender people in prison have problems accessing healthcare, but they experience a heightened level of gender policing.  The clothing they wear, their hairstyles and grooming practices, their bodies, mannerisms and identities are scrutinized and controlled by the state.  Any deviance from norms can lead to violence at the hands of corrections officers or other people who are incarcerated.  Legal “protections” are hard to access as there is little accountability on the inside.  If one is brave enough to risk retaliation and file a grievance, they must follow up with that grievance and timely appeal any denials.  It is not until those appeals (usually two) are denied that one can access the court system.  Finding a lawyer or representing one’s self pro se (without a lawyer) is another difficult barrier that one must overcome, as SRLP’s report IT’S WAR IN HERE has documented.

“some of us when assaulted such as myself are at a loss to take action… you are unable to do things needed to be done to file grievances. Once we do the officers destroy the form before it makes the Box. On chance it makes the box an officer can remove it. I have been assaulted myself here at Clinton Correctional by 5 officers. I filed 2 grievances that some how never made it to I.G.R.C. (Internal Grievance Review Committee). These matters need to be looked into. We cannot take legal action unless this step is made first. The people who assaulted me got away with it and I am forced to see them daily and can do nothing.” – SRLP Prison Advisory Committee Member Stephanie Jo

The experiences of incarcerated transgender people make one point very clear: prisons are not supposed to be a place where we survive. The conversation that we want to be having outside the prison walls is one that challenges our notions of justice.

TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT INCARCERATED TRANS & GENDER NON CONFORMING PEOPLE

SHARE SRLP’s chart and IT’S WAR IN HERE report about the experiences of people who are incarcerated and work in coalitions with our community members on the inside to ensure that human dignity and identity is respected.

ATTEND our Prisoner Postcard Event Next Wednesday to learn about SRLP’s work inside prisons & send a postcard to community members who have been separated from us by the criminal injustice system.

CONNECT by becoming a pen pal thru Black and Pink or volunteering to make prison visits -SRLP Prison Visit Guide coming soon!

srlp-disproport-incarc

 

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Manning is trans - SLUniverse Forums - August 22, 2013

    […] Here is a bit on incarcerated trans people: Chelsea Manning and the realities for transgender and gender non-conforming people in prison, jails … […]

  2. Chelsea Manning, Self-Determination, and Incarceration | through the walls - August 23, 2013

    […] “Chelsea Manning and the realities for transgender and gender non-conforming people in prison, jails … […]

  3. Living in truth: Chelsea Manning in prison | a paper bird - August 23, 2013

    […] Manning has already undergone inhuman treatment in pre-trial detention. For 11 months she was held in extreme solitary confinement, a purely vengeful measure. The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture condemned the cruelty, noting that “imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence.” (The judge struck 112 days from Manning’s sentence in acknowledgement of “unlawful pre-trial punishment,” a curious and risible compensation for her suffering.) Now, with her trans* identity a matter of public knowledge, she can reasonably expect the abuse redoubled. […]

  4. Wann hört die unwürdige Behandlung von Chelsea Manning auf? - August 23, 2013

    […] der Sendung Today. Außerdem wirft ihr Fall ein Schlaglicht auf die katastrophalen Zustände für Transpersonen in Gefängnissen und noch einmal im Besonderen beim Militär. Manning wird im […]

  5. Right Now: Alisha Williams, SRLP Prisoner Justice Director On Huffpost Live! | SRLP (Sylvia Rivera Law Project) - August 23, 2013

    […] Also check out SRLP’s piece on Chelsea Manning and trans & gender non conforming people navigating healthcare while incarcerated here! […]

  6. Military Prison Blasted for Refusing Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Care - August 23, 2013

    […] Sylvia Rivera Law Project outlined some of these abuses in the statement released […]

  7. Queer Voices - Trans* Prisoners | Q Center - August 23, 2013

    […] push this dialogue further. What else can you do? Take a look at the Sylvia River Law Project and educate yourself about the reality of incarcerated trans* people. SRLP has a ton of information about the experiences of trans* individuals in the “justice” […]

  8. El sexo y el género no coinciden (y lo que podemos hacer al respecto). | Psicoloquio - August 26, 2013

    […] del control y la violencia particular a la que están expuestas las personas transgénero, está en juego su acceso a servicios […]

  9. We have a long way to go for transgender liberation - August 30, 2013

    […] woman means a huge deficit of privilege, facing consistent bullshit at the hands of institutions like the prison system, and possible hate, bigotry, and violence from individuals. Chelsea’s life will probably be […]

  10. We have a long way to go for transgender liberation | sexynewz.com - August 30, 2013

    […] woman means a huge deficit of privilege, facing consistent bullshit at the hands of institutions like the prison system, and possible hate, bigotry, and violence from individuals. Chelsea’s life will probably be […]

  11. Chelsea Manning and the realities for transgender and gender non-conforming people in prison, jails and detention centers. | SRLP (Sylvia Rivera Law Project) | Reina Gossett - October 8, 2013

    […] Chelsea Manning and the realities for transgender and gender non-conforming people in prison, jails … […]

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    […] The dramedy portrays the lives of women in an upstate NY prison, a topic with which SRLP is all-too familiar. […]

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